The Writing Process

Thursday, August 12, 2010

For anyone kind enough to wonder about my other writing project, I thought I'd provide some insight into my new routine.  It goes something like this:

Pack vinyl eco-friendly shopping bag that passes for computer bag (the dog ate mine) with the essentials:

laptop, thermos, reusable travel mug, research books, tissues, pens, pencils, telephone, wallet, lipgloss, old cafe napkins, lunch, snacks, aspirin, power cord, adapter, usb cord(s), water bottle, and plastic folder containing urgent admin (shopping list, signed permission slips, unread handouts, old receipts, prescriptions, pencils, notebooks, and incomplete forms).

Lug bag to the car.

Drive to the library, to escape the siren's song of the laundry basket.

Locate a corner that isn't being used for Mommy & Baby Music Time, or Story Hour, or a meet-your-congressional-representative morning tea, or an Adelaide Hills Council meeting and is proximate to a powerpoint.

Open laptop and connect to power source.

Glance at New York Times front page. (confirm: world still spinning.)

Check email. (none.)

Check Facebook. (no messages.  scan updates.  "like".  "hide" anyone who is sharing too much.)

Check blog comments.  (none.)

Double check email.  (still none.)

Check phone for text messages.  (none.)

Check email on phone, in case of glitch with laptop.  (none.)

Check New York Times "10 Most E-Mailed" articles.  Read three.

Open blank document.

Pour cup of tea from thermos and consider blank screen.

Pour another cup of tea and continue staring at blank screen.

Think about what's in the snack box.

Have half the snack.

Have the other half.

Pour third cup of tea.

Drink it and instantly regret doing so.

Take laptop to ladies room or risk theft?

Bundle up laptop, phone and wallet, and proceed to ladies room.

Return to find man sharing table.

Pack away phone and wallet, open laptop and stare at screen.

Write first sentence.


Write second first sentence.


Think about going to graduate school for a degree in library science.

Write third fist sentence.


Consider changing subject matter.

Think about lunch.

Unpack lunch: sushi.

Wonder why the guy across the table keeps sniffing... offended by eating in the library? (it's allowed - I checked.)  offended by aroma of raw salmon?  flu carrier???

Drink litre of water.

Congratulate myself on healthy choice and resolve to consume only sushi and water from now on.

Feel myself getting thinner.

Think about how good I'll look for Oprah, talking about my book, after a year of nothing but sushi and water.

Detect another sniff.

Consider getting flu shot.

Regret downing water.

Consider a dash to the ladies room, without computer.

Can sniffing guy be trusted alone with my laptop?

Will he steal it to teach me a lesson for my errant sushi-eating-in-the-library ways?

Should I attempt to foil his plans by asking him to look after my laptop, thereby imposing a sense of responsibility?

Conduct furtive assessment under half-raised lids.

He looks over seventy.  There's a cane leaning against the table.

Decide that, even without my new diet of sushi and water, I can run him down if I have to.

Snatch up phone and wallet, leave laptop and sprint to loo.

Race-walk back to table and slide (nonchalantly) into chair.

Panting, consider blank screen.

Calculate time until school pick-up.

Write grocery list.

Are artichokes in season?  What does one do with artichokes?

Quickly consult

Forty minutes till pick up; twenty, if I stop for artichokes.

Write for fifteen minutes.


Close lap top.

Spend five minutes packing up.

Another day at the office.

Check phone.  (Oprah should be calling any minute now....)


  1. You crack me up. Did you mention the 30 minutes you've spent writing the blog? Sounds very much like my day - I've written a to do list to try and keep me focused but have only got two ticks to show for a full day so far! (But my trip to Africa will planned down to every 6 minute block!) Must be school pick up time...

  2. Too funny! Your writing day sounds exactly like mine and I haven't even begun yet. I did tell the first school parent I met yesterday here in Japan that I'm hoping to start a writing group...thought I could keep my social needs and intentions in one place. I'd be happy to "group" online with you, as well :)


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