Writer’s Toolbox: Modeling Clay

Maybe you’re angry at yourself this week because you still haven’t been doing any writing. 

“How can I keep calling myself a writer?” you ask the mirror. 

You are wearing a dirty green hoodie because you forgot that creation is uncomfortable. That’s ok. You probably just don’t have time, what with all that moping you’re doing. That and the eighty-hour work weeks you are putting in to pay for your student loan or covering expenses from your kid’s failed restaurant.

Don’t worry, you’ve got plenty in the toolbox to deal with this.

Even though you’re a writer and you’re too busy to write, you are probably sleeping a few hours every single day.

So here’s what you do.

When you go to sleep, pay attention. You’ll have a dream. 

Some people say they don’t dream, but there are two reasons you don’t have to worry about that: The first is that you’re a writer, so you probably have deep seated mental issues that your brain can only deal with under the cover of darkness; the second is that those people are liars and they don’t care what you think about them.

If you have trouble remembering that you had a dream, just wake yourself up once an hour and think hard about what just happened. Eventually, you will capture some essence of some weirdo voodoo shit that your mind is doing after hours.

Anyway, assuming you’ve got the dreaming part under control, get your voice recorder on your smartphone, or if you don’t have a smartphone because you’re that kind of writer, get a voice recorder of some kind. You should already have one, in fact. We’ll talk about that later.

When you wake up from your either offensively boring dream or your frighteningly realistic creepy ass phantasmagoric hell, describe the dream in no more than three sentences, out loud, to your recorder. Don’t worry that your bedmate is upset with you. They are clearly not a writer. If you are sleeping with a writer, one of you better stop being a writer. It will probably be you, since you are reading this and they are not. They probably don’t know that you consider yourself a writer since you never write anything.

In any case, trust me, your bed is only big enough for one writer.

Don’t get carried away, because you are too goddamn busy for shenanigans. You can’t even write down a few words once in a while, don’t think you can carry on to your voice recorder and file it under ‘productive.’ Nope. Three sentences or less, preferably while you’re walking to the bathroom to brush your teeth. 

Don’t forget to brush your teeth. Teeth are not important, but dental surgery is expensive and no one has time for it.

When things calm down and you can get back to writing, transcribe your audio notes. You’ll end up with a terrible first draft that you can throw away immediately, and you’ll feel good for laying down a strong foundation of nonsense from which to continue.

And best of all, no one will be able to question your writerhood in the interim. You can always play a doubter a snippet of your deranged process and they will immediately back down.

Ok, have fun! And stop reading blogs…aren’t you busy? Go do whatever it is that’s so fucking important to you all the time. Jesus. The kids miss you. And I don’t even know who you are any more.

Whatever. It’s fine.

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