How to be a Writer

So, you want to know how to be a writer?
You know.
You do!
Sit down and write.
Or stand up and write– it makes no difference to the words on the page.

You have been told a million times to “just write it!”
A million one now.
Butt in chair, hands on keyboard. Duh.

Not good enough for you? Not getting it done? Too hard?
Good news! There is an easier way.

Pay attention now, you’re only going to hear this once.

First you need to do a series of exercises. No, not mental exercises, no brain-storming. Calisthenics. For your appendages. You’re going to be squatting. And grabbing. And running. So, ten squats, NOW. Then ten hand grips, GO! Repeat.
You can save time, train faster, and keep the sync by doing them together.
Stand, grip, squat, release. Stand, grip, squat, release.

Repeat this routine daily until the first Monday with a full moon. At midnight on this infrequent Monday, you must walk two hundred paces by the light of the moon and by the light of the moon only. That means that if you live in a city, or near a city, or anywhere with unnatural light at midnight, you must go somewhere else. Also, you must wear blue jeans with a coin pocket. That’s the little pocket at the top of the right front one. And you don’t want skinny jeans. Something loose and comfortable or don’t bother.

Once you have found your geographical starting point– and you might want to look for this in advance rather than driving around at midnight searching for no light– you will face due west and walk off two hundred paces. That’s two hundred strides, mind you, not a shuffle more.

Here’s where your squats come in handy, as next you will drop your butt to your heels and wait. Balancing may be tricky, but it’s very important not to wobble as you may frighten the writing fairies.

The fairies, you see, only rise after midnight on a Monday with a full moon. And only till closing time. No one knows why; the fairies don’t speak. By the light of the naturally bright sky, they seep from the earth as graceful as smoke. When you see one, you will have to snatch it before it has completely left the ground. Once airborne, they are free to roam. Depending on how many were caught the last cycle, they could be numerous, or none. (Sidebar: It takes approximately three Monday Moon Cycles for a writing fairy to enthuse into existence.)

Once you have successfully captured a writing fairy in the clutches of your fist, in one smooth motion, pop up to a standing position and whip your arm around like you’re at a rock concert. Really pump it. We’re talking anthem rock pumping. This effectively inebriates the fairy and it should sleep soundly in your coin pocket until you are able to ingest it.

Yes, you must consume said fairy. (And if you can catch more than one, good for you—consider yourself a double-fister!)

With the fairy ensconced in your pocket, run. You heard right—RUN. As fast as you can as far as you can. Or until you reach your car.

Drive to a bar. If you have played this out properly, you should be arriving about ten minutes to two. You need to be as close to closing time as possible when you complete this last step. If you live in an area where bars close earlier than two a.m. you might want to consider moving. If your local bars are open late, you will have to swivel your hips continuously until closing time to ensure the fairy stays sleeping. A prematurely alert pocketed fairy can be downright dangerous.

Once at the bar, order a bourbon, neat. Now cautiously, and you need to do this with extreme care, remove the sleeping wisp of fairy from your coin pocket with thumb and forefinger and quickly dunk it into the cocktail glass. Swirl counter-clockwise three times then slam the shot. (Ever wonder why so many prolific authors are drinkers? Now you know.) Smart writers lick the residue from their fingers following consumption. You don’t want to waste any on a napkin or jean leg. You may need all the fairy you can get. You may not, but better safe than wasteful.

There you have it. Easy-peasy. The next morning, or afternoon as the case may be, when you sit—or stand—to write, you will discover you have all the words you need. After this little writing fairy finding adventure, you will be unable to get your butt out of the chair, hands off the keyboard.

Now you are a writer.

This post was inspired by Neil Gaiman’s Advice to those Who just can’t get Their Thoughts on Paper. Because I agree. There must be an easier way.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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