I have a portfolio (resume, writing samples, the works). I have business cards ready for pick-up. I’M READY TO GET A JOB!
I have recently been promoted to bartender at work. On my last day of training, I waited on Phillies player Roy Oswalt and didn’t even know it. (On television, you only ever see them from the nose down. How should I know what the man looks like?) I heard he came in the next day, too; I bet he was only looking forward to finding me and my ability to make a mean Arnold Palmer, but alas, I was not there. As bartender I get to crack open root-beers and real beers and gluten-free beers and make dozens of margaritas (and Arnold Palmers). So far, I dig it.
On July 17th I’ll be getting “down and dirty” with some co-workers in the Merrell Mud Run in Fairmount Park. I’m excited, nervous, considering the early preparation of my will…but above all, excited. If I make it through the 6 miles of obstacles and mud pits alive, I plan on rewarding myself with the largest peanut-butter milkshake money can buy.
At the moment, I am shifting between this blog entry and an attempt at banging out a few paragraphs. So while I contemplate my next move, I’ll compile a short list of things to avoid while attempting to write a novel; or short-story, or memoir, or whatever.
Things all writers should avoid if they have any fighting chance of writing more than one paragraph of solid work a week:
1) While writing, log out of Facebook. Do not tweet (or whatever they call it). Turn your phone off. Log out of your email. Avoid everything that I am doing at this exact moment.
2) While a glass of wine or a beer is sometimes helpful, don’t get sloshed. Sure, I’ve had a lot of good ideas swirl around in my head while under the influence…but I almost always chose a shot over a keyboard.
3) Even if you’re not sure about it, write it. Get it down. Get it all out. Go back later and edit. Don’t stare at the screen or the paper waiting for something brilliant to present itself. It doesn’t work that way. I’m sure even Hemingway threw away a few drafts.
4) Don’t get distracted with trying to choose a title, when you could be spending that time writing any type of piece that will actually be worth giving a title to. (I really, really wish I could find a title.)
5) Write every single day. Even if for a few minutes at a time. Don’t let sleep, work, alcohol, family, your dog, or that favor you were supposed to do for your best friend get in the way.
Now if only I could follow my own rules a little more strictly.
Eat, sleep, write. Let’s do this.