Nothing much to speak of for a writing update beyond starting short story number three of my trilogy over the long Labor Day weekend, as everything else is still unchanged from last Wednesday. So for your enjoyment and amusement and potential ammunition to mock me with, I present to you, my somewhat secretive (to everyone else) pre-wrting routines.
My pre-writing routine may never become as well known as former Cleveland Indian Mike Hargrove, who earned the sobriquet "Human Rain Delay" (if you Google the phrase, the first five entries, including Wikipedia and YouTube, refer to him) during his playing career, but more often than not, it has become just as OCD as any other annoying routine that I had the displeasure of doing for years before finally getting rid of it.
I have developed two very annoying routines that I perform prior to doing any kind of writing, and that includes blogging. Before I write out a single word on paper, or type out a single word on the computer, these pre-writing routines must be performed. Otherwise, I can't get into the proper frame of mind for writing.
If I'm writing something on the computer, be it a blog post or a story, after getting the computer started and what now (I use my laptop in two hour increments and turn it off when I'm not using it), I play a game of spider solitaire. If I win, I move on to the next step. If I don't, I keep on playing until I win. For those of you think that this sounds stupid because it's a game that is easy to win at, it isn't. I play the game with a severe handicap, so naturally it lends itself more to losing than winning. The longest losing streak that I had while playing this game, was 49 consecutive games, which naturally cut into my writing time.
The next step, should I win a game, is to log into Facebook. Once I get done checking that, I then check Blogger; my Gmail; my Hotmail; my Yahoo twice; FoxNews; ESPN; and my local newspaper website, in that order.
Then I write, either my blog post (with various research links if need be) or my story (again doing research if need be). Sometimes I'll write original stuff and sometimes I'll dictate my scribbles via the Dragon.
There are times though that I've been able to break that routine by simply cracking down and staying offline. But it doesn't last for long because I really need to have at least one thing from the CyberWorld going at the same time that I'm writing. Doesn't matter what it is, so long as I have it going, I'm writing.
For when I decide to write outdoors, that's when it gets positively infantile.
Example: I want to work on a short story.
1} Grab my folder of paper, my clipboard, the printed pages of what I written so far, a rubber fingertip and my hat.
2} Go outside to my writing area, get myself situated in my chair, take out a pen, clipboard, short story and start studying where I had left off at.
3} Ten seconds later, decide to get a snack. Get snack, eat, then repeat step #2.
4} Ten seconds later, decide to get a drink. Get drink, drink, then repeat step #2.
5} Ten seconds later, decide to move my chair to the other side of the tree so that the sun isn't beating down. Move chair to the other side, gather up my stuff and transport it to the other side of the tree. Repeat step #2.
6} Ten seconds later, decide to blow my nose. Get either tissue from the house or napkin from the car, blow my nose, then repeat step #2.
7} Ten seconds later, screw around with my phone. Fix phone, then repeat step #2.
8) Two minutes later, while repeating step #2 for the fifth time, allow the gentle mountain breeze to lull me to sleep. Nap for about an hour. Wake up from nap, repeat step #2.
Keep in mind that I have yet to write a single word down in the preceding hour and a half of being outside.
9} Eventually I come to my senses, get angry with myself for wasting all of this time doing all kinds of pointless shit, and start to write. Which usually lasts anywhere from a half hour to an hour plus, and I wind up with a minimum of three handwritten pages of text.
I have another writing area, which is my front porch, and except for steps #5 & #8, everything else applies.
This is my tiny little screwed up writing world. It's long term, it's deeply ingrained, and there is no hope for a cure for me. If you don't want to see anyone else suffer from the same kind of malady, for god's sake, stop them before they can get started on the road to ruination. Don't let anyone, including yourself, come up with such an annoying pre-writing routine as mine. Please let this be a warning to others that OCD is positively lethal when you're a writer.