Jane Doe was a writer. She sat in her office chair, the one with the extra cushion so her butt won't get so sore. The left arm of that chair is extra because she likes to lean lazy on it while she clicks the mouse when play solitaire or doing any of the multitudes the internet has to offer. Liken an writer Jane Doe is great at wasting time. But she's not today. Today she is plugged in to her story. The keyboard makes a gentle and furious tap, tap, tap as her fingers flash across the keys and words, glorious words, seemed to jump on screen. She was so plugged she didn't notice that sometimes her sentences came ou t un fromed.
Outside, the weather was warm. A great day to spend at the beach. Jane's skin was the white pasty color of an author determined to breakthrough and of late her social life was suffering. When her friends called, she said to them , "I'm sorry, I can't. I have to write." At first her friends had been understanding but of late, they didn't always invite her to do things.
By noon Jain had 1500 new words. She took a lunch break and stat down again, reveling in this moment, cherishing. She felt that life often got in the way of her writing. She was also a little high at the moment. Not on pot. No, no. Writers do not need pot. They can get high off the act of putting words on the screen. In this state of euphoria, Jane was certain that the thoughts she poured to her fingers and consequently into the file labeled "My Freekin' Awesome Novel"were best-seller material. People would flock to the stores to read them.
During her break, Jane went online and read some tips about writing and landed on the blog of M.R. Jordan. Written there was her story.Written there was also this:
Print out your story. Print out ten pages, print out twenty pages, print that section that's nagging you. Hell print the whole dame thing out. Put some pages in your bag, purse, pack pack, tote, whatever. Now go to the beach. Go to the mountains. Go somewhere with someone. Get distracted. After you've been properly distracted and then come upon a quiet moment-- you might be in a taxi unexpectedly drunk thanks to lunch that somehow turned into coffee and tea, then dinner and finally bar hopping. Whatever happened, you are now alone and you pull out those ten pages or so and take a red pen to it. Even drunk you notice things you didn't before. But when you're not drunk, looking at the pages this way, you have sudden insights, the kind that used to take hours staring at the blank wall of your apartment. Despite being exhausted, you rush home to put those insights into your file. Then you fell into bed knowing it was a good day, a day that included friends and writing.
After reading this words, Jane went back wasting time on the internet. She was planning to write some more but time kind of got away from her. When her friend called to see if Jane wanted to have dinner together, Jane thought about all the writing she had planned to do but had yet to finish. She almost said "No, I'm writing." Instead she printed out ten pages of a section she was having trouble with and joined her friend for dinner. After she and her friend parted and she was on her way home, she remembered the pages.
That was pointless, she thought as she came to the bus stop. I didn't have any time to look at them. She sat down to wait for the bus, thinking of those papers. Shrugging, she pulled them out and began reading. She saw things, dozens of typos that just jumped out at her. She got up, forgoing the bus for the park around the corner and sat under a tree with her pages. All around her was the murmur of people enjoying a warm evening in the park. Kids laughed and shouted. Bugs buzzed. Leaves rustled. Lovers walked hand in hand, talking close and intimately. Removed from herself, Jane saw her words as others might seem them. She had perspective and because of that, she solved a major plot plot and discovered a logical "inconvenience" large enough to drive a Fifth-wheeler through.
M.R. Jordan is a writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. Lives in South Korea with her two cats, Bear and Geumbi.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Gold in English)... then (above) and now (below).