On Writing Tricks

The thing about writers is…well, not all of them like to write. They write because they like to have written. Because they like the attention. Because they can’t get a proper job. And so, sometimes, they have to trick themselves into writing.

For me, I buy things. I buy notebooks, use them for a few pages, then buy a different one – something with a more interesting cover, maybe in leather. Or maybe something inspirational on the front. One I bought myself for Xmas says, simply, “Write.” I have not yet written in it.

I spend money on software – scriptwriting software, or movie editing software, or photo editing software, to encourage me to be creative. And I’ll spend hours using it, and then stop, because who has the time?

Writers have the time, of course. Real, dedicated, destined-to-be-published writers. If they don’t write, they don’t get to become “writers” – which, in my head, is someone who makes at least part of their living through the simple act of placing one well-chosen word after another.

If I am to write, then I have to trick myself into writing. I have to make it easy to take an idea that comes as a nice surprise in my pretty little head and get it down on paper. Or digital pseudo-paper. Because once that weird observation or nice-sounding one-liner, or poignant memory, is down on the literal or figurative page, then I will add words to make a better introduction, fill it out with more detail, add a conclusion.

Because, sometimes, I can be a writer. But mostly, I am an editor.

And that’s why I bought a keyboard – $30, Bluetooth, attaches to my iPad, makes it into a notebook. So, I can sit on Saturday mornings, with the football on in the background, and tap away on anything that comes to mind. Upload it to the Cloud and ta-da! – I’m writing again.

It’s a trick. It’s always a trick. But sometimes the trick works and I get some pages out of it. I’m not going to make any New Year’s resolutions – my success rate there is 0%. But it’s going to work at least for a little while. Here I am, using it now. Let’s see how many words I can get down with this thing before I decide I need a Mac Air instead.

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