If you’ve been trolling for writing advice for any length of time, you’ve no doubt heard of the butt-in-chair approach to writing productivity. If you haven’t heard basically the advice runs thusly:
First you need a butt. Any size will do. Many human bodies come preequipped with butts for this very purpose. Consult your owners manual to determine if you are one of them. If you do not possess a butt, then strap a pillow to the back of your legs. That will work almost as well.
Second. Sit your but down in a chair. Any chair will do, but perhaps your butt has a special chair that it likes to sit in. This is fine provided the relationship does not go too far. My butt has become particularly friendly with a big red recliner that used to belong to my father.
Third. You write. I’m not sure what you write on since neither of the previous two steps said anything about getting any writing materials. Maybe you’re supposed to scratch the words into your skin with your fingernails. Personally I use a computer type device designed to sit on top of my lap. If you do not have a lap you may have to sit at a table or something.
So that’s the process. Basically it’s saying forget about inspiration and dive into your work. Those words ain’t gonna write themselves. I mean they might but that last time that happened…well I think it’s best not to talk about that.
But you know what? Sometimes I kinda hate this process. I’m not talking about the persevering even though you don’t feel like writing part. I’m talking about the sitting down part.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can only take so many sedentary hours before I start to come down with the dreaded disease I like to call the Sittin’ Around Blues. The Sittin’ Around Blues start in your lower back and move up your spine toward your head. Once they reach the head you’ll start to feel morose and lackadaisical. And if you let them go on for long enough, depression sets in.
So what do you do?
Well when I start to feel the Sittin’ Around Blues creep up on me I get up and take a health dose of Doing Something Else for a Change. Doing Something Else for a Change comes in a variety of handy shapes and sizes. There’s the Get Up and Clean the House for an Hour pill, and the Take the Dog for a Walk lozenge, as well as the Go Outside and Pull Some Weeds in the Garden suppository.
“But Albert,” you say, “what if Doing Something Else for a Change causes my ideas to evaporate into the aether?”
Never fret dear reader, for the side effects for Doing Something Else for a Change, include increased creativity, greater energy and enhanced inspiration, so that when you come back to your story it will seem new and interesting again.
But don’t take my work for it. If the Butt in Chair method is giving you the Sittin’ Around Blues, then try Doing Something Else for a Change and see if it doesn’t work for you.
[This blog post sponsored by Action Corp. the makers of Do Something Else for a Change as well as many other fine products. Do Something Else for a Change is sold in fine stores everywhere. Also crappy stores in some places. They're really not that selective about who sells it.]
A Prairie Home Apocalypse or What the Dog saw is still on sale for Kindle and is available for other devices from Smashwords (I suppose I should specify that it is available for other ereader devices. It is not yet available for your vaccuum. We’re still working on the formatting there.) And for those of you Nook people out there who have been hounding me about this, I swear its coming soon. Also the book has gotten some lovely reviews over at Amazon, and I want to thank those of you who took the time out of your day to say nice things about the book. You all mean the world to me.