Great Tips on Writing

Parker Gregory Shpak

So you want to write?  No easy task.  You can’t just sit down and pump out some words.  You can’t just write.  No.  NO!  Writing is much more than that—it’s a metaphysical triumph of the spirit over the physical.  Naturally, you need to prepare yourself.  Let’s say you have an essay or a creative writing piece due, be it a poem, short story, or a chapter of a longer piece.  No problem!  There’s just a few things you need to make sure you check off before you actually sit down at your computer to begin.

Step 1: Clean.  Not just your desk.  It is a mess, so that’s a great place to start.  Put everything distracting in the drawers.  Oh shit.  The drawers are messy, so those need to be cleaned too.  Come to think of it, ever since you’ve ever moved into this room you’ve been meaning to organize your desk drawers.  This really is the perfect time to do that.  And while you’re at it, might as well do a little sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, hell, even deep clean the bathroom!  Grab that toilet brush, your Lysol wipes, toss on a couple rubber gloves if you’re a germaphobe.  Whew!  Feels good to get this place clean!

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Step 2: Text that old friend.  You know, the one you knew back in high school and you’ve grown apart?  It’s been years since you’ve spoken face-to-face, but you text each other once-in-a-while to see what’s been going on.  Come to think of it, those texts have stopped.  All your communication has boiled down to Instagram likes.  Shoot ‘em a text, see how they’ve been!  Spend too much time drafting the sentence because you gotta set exactly the right tone.  And oh, look!  They responded immediately.  Would you like to talk?  Love to.  Phone ‘em up, talk for an hour.  Or two.

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Step 3: Okay it’s been hours since you wanted to write, so better actually sit down now and do it.  You’re glad you cleaned and reconnected, they’re good things to do, but now the time’s to write.  Sit down, get comfortable, stretch your legs and crack your back, open up the laptop and see that blank page.  Blank page.  Your mind is blank, too.  You’re actually pretty tired, aren’t you?  Can’t hurt to swing down to the nearest Starbucks or Dunkin’ and grab a quick coffee!  Grab a fiver and hurry down before the muse departs.

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Step 4:  You’re back!  How was the coffee?  What’d’ya get?  Oh, caramel macchiato, good choice, that caramel sauce is divine.  None for me?  No matter.  You got your java and now you’re ready to jive.  Pop that screen back open, pull up the document.  Now you’re really ready to begin.  Title that sucker, pick your font.  Times New Roman is so plain.  Maybe Helvetica?  Nah.  Courier is cool.  A little over the top though.  There’s Comic Sans.  Lol.  Baskerville is nice!  Okay let’s try that.  Oh, but the font seems the wrong size now.  Let’s try 13.  11.  Oh, I guess 12 was correct.  Is this page regularly margined?  I’ve never looked before.  Mess around with that a bit and ding!  You see the new text message, only to notice you’ve also accrued several Instagram likes.  Check out that post.  See who liked it.  Feel accomplished.  That person you’re crushing on hasn’t seen it yet.  Or maybe they have and they didn’t like it.  Ugh.

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Step 5:  You know, honestly it’s getting pretty late.  You should get to bed.  Brush your teeth, snuggle up into your sheets and pillows.  Pull that laptop close and binge a couple episodes of the Office before lulling off to sleep.

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Maybe tomorrow you can actually get some words down.

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