Chapter 7: Butt in Chair

The title basically says it all, you put your butt in a chair and write.

…Butt in Chair – Regardless of how you spell it, the concept is an old one: You have to stay in your chair.
You can’t do the laundry.
You can’t clean things.
You can’t take a bath, a shower, a walk.
You can’t do any of the healthy necessary things you have been meaning to do: practice yoga, call your mother, write letters. All of those holy pure acts will seem appealing. You must resist bettering yourself in those ways.
You sit in the chair.
Whether or not you are writing.

I don’t know how I feel about this. I agree that you should take time to sit and write, but she makes me feel like writers are fat smelly blobs sitting at writing desks, slowly losing their sanity.

You’ll want to be sitting in a chair to write out the story, but we’re still in the part of the Page After Page book that supposedly to prepare to think and act more like a writer. Didn’t think we were at the point of “You need to write like a writer now”. And didn’t this book tell you that going outside, experiencing the world and other stuff outside of sitting in a stuffy room writing is just as important as the act of writing? I think it was in Chapter 2: Writing You Don’t Do Alone.

To be fair, I do think heather means that you need to find time to sit down in your busy schedule to write. If you fill it up with “I should do ____” then you might never find the time to write, cause later in this chapter she suggests the reader to do a little exercise (not to be confused for being a chapter exercise).

To develop a successful writing life you must be able to focus on your writing for, at first, ten minutes. Use an egg timer-something that doesn’t’ make noise. Write by hand (it’s too easy to erase and too easy to go fast on the computer). Typewriters are good. Write exactly what you see in your mind’s eye. Or write what you hear. There are a number of good books on what to do in your focused time..

Because I’m sharing my experience reading this book and doing the exercises, I need to ignore her suggestion of writing by hand and use my computer. However, I don’t know if I should post this mini exercise on this post and flood it with a bunch of “I had a sandwich, it was good. But the turkey was dry…”. Unless you want me to do that, then I will happily create a section where I write a bunch of dull, about nothing really, posts for you to read.


Exercise 13

Make a list of ten things you saw two days ago, starting from the morning and ending with night. Keep your hand moving. If you get stuck, draw slow circles. You want to end up at exactly number ten at exactly the end of three minutes. Don’t write a novel at each item, just a few anchoring words to capture the image are all you need to put down.

Three minutes. One list.
Then, set your timer for ten minutes. Look over your list. Let one item pick you, or, if nothing leaps out, do number three. Number three is magic and always works.
Write the item number and words at the top of a fresh sheet. Same rules: You must keep your pencil moving, you must write slowly, all caps, skipping lines. Write in simple clear sentences. Don’t try to be fancy. Avoid adjectives and adverbs. Just write in nounds and verbs, very simply, very slowly.
For ten minutes. Write what you see. Write what you hear.

List:

  1. Woke up
  2. Took a shower
  3. Eat breakfast
  4. Watch some Pokemon on Netflix
  5. Go out to a BBQ place for lunch
  6. Visit the library
  7. Start drawing Zombie Ranch comic
  8. Have tacos for dinner
  9. Add final touches to comic and upload it to zombieranchcomic.com
  10. Read a book and then go to bed.

 Then set your timer for ten minutes. Look over your list. Let one item pick you…

Write the item number and words at the top of a fresh sheet. Same rules: You must keep your pencil moving, you must write slowly, all caps, skipping lines. Write in simple clear sentences. Don’t try to be fancy. Avoid Adjectives and adverbs. Just write in nouns and verbs, very simple, very slowly.

For ten minutes. Write what you see. Write what you hear.

So I have to write without adjectives or adverbs? For 10 minutes. Adjectives and adverbs barf out of me without me knowing. So to help me avoid using adjectives or adverbs, I will summon my inner cave woman (who I will name Uga) to help me do this part of the exercise.

The item I will write for 10 minutes about will be item #4: Watch some Pokemon on netflix. Lets see how bad I can make this.


 4. Watch some Pokemon on Netflix

Have apple in hand. Sit on couch. I like couch. Good place to sit. Would like better couch, but no better couch to be found that no take money away from apples that I eat. I like apple more than I like couch.

I have Xbox controller. Controller open Netflix. Wait for netflix to load. Still waiting for netflix to load. Throw away apple cause I eat all good parts. Return to couch. Netflix load.

Distracted because cat go crazy. Cat run from one corner of living room to other. Cat stops. Cat look at me with crazy eye. I no understand cat. I like cat, not same way I like apple. I no eat cats.

I want watch Pokemon now. I push buttons  till I find Pokemon. Show starts. It first episode. Mom tell Ash go to bed. Ash go sleep and dream of pokemon. I no dream of pokemon. I dream of ninjas or zombies. Ninja zombies.

Ash sleep in and late to getting pokemon.

We meet Gary for first time. No one like Gary. Fuck you Gary.

Ash gets only pokemon no one took, electric rat named Pikachu. We like Pikachu. No fuck you to Pikachu. Pikachu like how I like apple. But I no eat Pikachu, cause he no real. He also probably taste like ozone or it like putting tongue on 9v battery.

Team Rocket. Hmmm. Me like Team Rocket.

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