I’m mired deep in editing and can’t think of anything insightful or clever to write about this week. Except for snacks.
Maybe I’m just hungry (that bagel I ate was hours ago), but I think snacks are the unsung tool of writers. They are the hammer to your Thor. The arc reactor to your Tony Stark. The gamma radiation to your Bruce Banner.
Okay, maybe that last comparison didn’t quite work out.
When you sit down to write, you have your writing contraptions (computer, paper, typewriter, etc.), your research, your inspiration boards, your music, all tools to promote focus and work. But you also need snacks to power you.
And just like everyone has their own writing process, everyone has different snack preferences. Here’s a few common ones and what they mean.
- Coffee: You tried to go to bed at a normal hour, honestly you did. You were in bed, lights off, by 11 pm. Sure, you still had the TV on, but it was on low with the sleep timer set, so you could doze off to the melodic tones of The Daily Show. And just as you were shutting your eyes, Jon Stewart made a joke that turned into a plot bunny, bouncing away in the back of your brain, insisting to be written down, mocking you that you’ll forget if you don’t. So you get out of bed and write it down. But it’s a bunny, they breed like crazy, and before you know it you’ve filled half a moleskin notebook with ideas and your bleary eyes are showing you the clock reading 3 am.
- Tea: You’re trying to keep your blood pressure down and unwind while tackling a plot hole that is determined to undermine everything you are. But all it’s doing is turning you into Violet Crawley and you’re beginning to scare people.
- Water: You woke up early to go to the gym before sitting down to write, but now you’re panting like a dog leaning out a car window and are seriously concerned your body will shrivel up like a mummy. Or you forgot to go grocery shopping and your fridge is empty.
- Soda: Yeah, you’re writing. The movie you have on in the background is totally not distracting you. Your cursor’s been in the same spot for the past hour, but that doesn’t really matter. You are marinating ideas.
- Gatorade: You understand that writing is a marathon. You have to train accordingly. You are currently wearing sweats and sneakers. Well, maybe they’re slippers with rubber soles, but you can kind of run in them. And you’ve got the Rocky soundtrack on in the background. You are SO READY.
- Wine: You have a poster with Hemingway’s quote, “Write drunk; edit sober.”
- Whiskey: You have a tattoo with Hemingway’s quote, “Write drunk; edit sober.”
- Cheese and crackers: You are super classy. You also got sucked down the pinterest food rabbit hole and really wanted mac and cheese, but were too lazy–I mean, too busy writing–to make it.
- PB&J: You sometimes find yourself staring out the window over your desk, the one that overlooks the park, and think longingly of recess and swing sets. Now you wish you had a juice box.
- Cookies: The Pepperidge Farm aisle in your grocery store is now your drug dealer. You load up on Mint Milanos like there’s going to be an apocalypse and they’re the new currency. Fuck caffeine, sugar is the supreme energy source. And could probably solve global warming if we all switched to sugar power.
- Ice Cream: SSSSSUUUUUUGGGGGGGAAAAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!
- Potato Chips: Hey diet, listen. We had some fun times, and it was good while it lasted. But the spark isn’t there anymore, and I just don’t love you anymore. So I think we should go our separate ways. Also, I’ve been hooking up with elastic-waist pants again.
- Chips and Salsa: Because you don’t actually want to be writing. You want to be on a beach drinking margaritas. But life isn’t fair.
- Chips and Guacamole: Because you want to be on a beach drinking margaritas instead and are afraid of tomatoes which is totally not weird and completely normal and rational.
- Green Juice: Is it considered a drink? Or a food? You’re supposed to chew it or something to release the enzymes. All you know is that this diet is so healthy it’ll probably kill you and you’re so hangry you want to punch a baby seal in the face. A baby seal. In the face.
- Positive Thoughts: Junk food is the crutch of the desperate. You are a writing maestro, and this manuscript is a magnum opus. It is flawless. It is beautiful. It will move all who read it. Also, you forgot to go grocery shopping.
- Tears of Your Readers: It burns on the way down, but that’s how you like it. Their sadness inspires you and gives you a perverse sense of glee.
- Souls of Your Enemies: FEAST AND GROW STRONG. Also, take time out of your busy schedule to practice your evil laugh.
- Rainbows and Glitter: You should probably see a doctor.