Daily Archives: July 7, 2012

Stupid Writing Tricks…

See that man with the Coke cans on his head?

Why is he doing that?

What possible gain could be achieved by sucker-planting a half dozen Coke cans on your head?

Let me tell you this.

The mind is a monkey and easily tricked.

You can convince yourself to do anything that you want to do – even if you don’t want to do it. All that you have to do is fabricate a little motivation.

Trick that mind hard enough and you can cheerfully skip across a bed of smoldering coals.

In my last blog entry I cross-blogged to fellow blogger Lauren Waters site http://laurenwaters.net/ where she discussed a motivational trick that was explained in a LifeHacker article on Jerry Seinfeld.

Here’s a link to that article.


I have decided to adopt that method. I have a calender and a red marker and I have already scratched my first X for 1000 words of writing. Well, actually, I did about 1500 words today. Still not a lot for a day’s worth of work – but it is a start.

I intend to keep that red chain growing.

Now I know that there are folks out there who are reading this and saying to themselves – “Hey, this is Steve Vernon. The dude who chews up syllables and spits out chapters. The man is a born writing machine.

Well – you are right. I have, in the past, put a tremendous amount of work out there. Since 2004 I’ve written SEVEN regional books through local publisher Nimbus. I have written about a dozen e-books – and am working on another. I have written about a dozen novellas and a couple of full length horror novels. I have written umpteen blog entries and a thousand Facebook entries – not to mention poems, book reviews, articles, interviews and even a couple of recipes.

But lately I have been having a little bit of difficulty. I have got a lot on my mind. Bills to pay and a few personal issues and just the usual sort of psychic bricabrac that all of us face on a day-to-day level. Nothing huge, nothing drastic – but these last few months I have been having a hard time producting consistently.

So I’m going to use this stupid little trick to try to get myself back on the track.


Because stupid tricks work.

I’ve got another stupid trick for you.

This one involves a cooking timer. It looks like a plastic tomato. I can set it to tick for a whole hour. And that’ what I do. I set it for an hour and let that silly little plastic tomato tick on – and while it is ticking I do NOTHING but write on my manuscript.

I don’t check my e-mail.

I don’t check my Facebook.

I don’t even freaking Tweet!

When it goes “ding” I stop writing.

Oddly enough, by the time that goes ding, I usually have a thousand or so words.

I do that for two months steady and I have a book.

Still needs to be edited. Still needs to be revised.

But in two months – a thousand-freaking-words an hour and I have a fair-sized novel.

So that’s all there is folks. People wonder what it takes to write a book.

All that it takes is a red plastic tomato cooking timer, one calender, and a red Sharpee marker.

This isn’t freaking rocket science.

Stupid tricks work.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

PS: I should mention that I got that tomato-timer trick from an entry in Salt Lines from Nova Scotia writer Gwen Davies http://writers.ns.ca/members/profile/64

And if you want to learn more about Salt Lines – https://stevevernonstoryteller.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/seeking-inspiration-in-writing/