New Project Checklist

Well, add some sweatpants and you might

After a short vacationy-type break, I’m getting back into the writing groove. And, not only that, I’m embarking on a new project.

New WIPs always have an unpredictable blend of piss-your-pants nerves and excitement. Anything could happen! Also, nothing could happen! No matter how much outlining and research you do beforehand, there’s no way to predict how a MS will turn out.

Each new project also comes with the inevitable “fuck I forgot how to write” panic. All those other books you wrote? Meaningless. Suddenly, this one is the only one that matters, and you’ve somehow forgotten story structure and how to create dynamic characters and prose that doesn’t make you want to stab yourself in the eye with a fountain pen.

And no, I don’t think that’s an exaggeration.

So I’ve made myself a checklist for the start of every new WIP.

The OFFICIAL List of Writing Necessities:

  • Laptop. Obviously. Mostly because my handwriting is crap.
  • Moleskin notebook. Obviously. Mostly because lugging my laptop everywhere would give me scoliosis (well, worse scoliosis than I already have).
  • Pens. Obviously.
  • Workspace. For me, the chaise lounge section of my couch. It’s perfectly molded to the shape of my butt.
  • Sweatpants. Also acceptable: pajama pants. Because button flies impede creativity.
  • Coffee. Because I sold my soul long ago to the God of Caffeine.
  • Cat. Because every writer needs a pet to keep them company and use their lap as a bed. And also because Fat Cat doesn’t give me the option to work alone.
  • Water. Because it’s important to stay hydrated. It’s a marathon, people!
  • Pinterest. Because IDEA BOARDS!
  • Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks in Tropical Treat. Because they’re delicious and I can easily pretend they’re healthy too.
  • Mint Milanos. Because, sometimes, screw healthy.
  • Scented Candles. Because you’re writing and don’t have time to clean, but don’t like the smell of weeks-old garbage.
  • Internet. Because research. Yes…research. *hops on Twitter*
  • Books. Also research. Definitely not distraction from any frustrating scenes.
  • Blank Wall. To stare at when you’re out of ideas. Must…get…ideas…
  • Tylenol. Because all that banging of your head against the desk will give you a headache.
  • Cell Phone. It’s important to stay in touch with your loved ones. And also, it’s important to have a way to order pizza.
  • Wine. Because sometimes you need it.
  • Bottle Opener. Because otherwise you’ll have to become some kind of McGyver, and will probably end up with a mouthful of broken glass.
  • Netflix. Because Doctor Who breaks are TOTALLY RESEARCH. You’re not running away from the blank page. You are being inspired.
  • A Bed. Because sometimes you need a nap to recharge. It’s scientifically proven to help. And as long as you wake up and work afterwards, 12 hours can count as a nap.
  • An Idea. Yeah, I guess that’s important.
  • A Blog. Because writing a post is still technically writing and totally counts as working. Even if your posts are silly and not very helpful.

Sound off in the comments: what’s your writing checklist?

Too true to think of a clever caption


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