Terror leaps into our hearts, forcing us to crank up the volume on the iPod and reach for the bag of dark chocolate. Several chocolate wrappers later, we drink another cup of espresso and stare into the infamous BLANK, WHITE PAGE! After a few more hours of hair-pulling, eyebrow-rubbing nothingness, we pour ourselves a glass of wine and hope the liquid therapy flows through our fingertips.
These indulgences have provided us with a needed respite at one time or another. But their therapeutic relief is usually short-lived. That’s not to say they haven’t been effective. As we mentioned in a previous blog, music has greatly influenced our writing. And green tea and espresso have certainly provided us with the caffeine we needed to work into the wee hours of the morning. Oh, and the margaritas and wine…these liquid muses have rarely failed us (unless, of course, we have one too many). But some days, they just aren’t enough. When the voices in our heads start tormenting us, making us doubt our “mad” writing skills, we need something much STRONGER. We need a new therapist—a second opinion, if you will.
We are staunch supporters of the B.I.C. method (butt-in-chair); however, after staring at the same four walls and the dreaded white page for days on end, our butts get a little sore. So, in our humble opinion, the best medicine for “B.I.C.itus” is a… WRITERS’ CRAWL.
What is a Writers’ Crawl, you ask? Why, it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to get glammed up, get out of the house, and have a few cocktails while we interact with unknowing strangers who may or may not become part of our novel.
Recently, we have found this form of therapy to be wonderful for character and plot development. One of our favorite parts of a writing crawl is to observe people from afar and play a little Mystery Science Theater 3000, and by that we mean we make horrendous judgments about the innocent bystanders’ based on their behaviors. Sometimes we even include their inner thoughts or a background story based on their appearances. We realize this is an impolite form of writers’ therapy, but it has proven to be most effective. Plus…what they don’t know can’t hurt them, right?
On a recent writers’ crawl, we traveled all the way to Cumming, GA for some good ol’ southern hospitality and writing fodder. We also knew that the “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” so we were ready to encounter some very interesting characters. And we weren’t disappointed! On this particular outing, we dressed like two demon characters from our book and went to work. After visiting four hot spots and observing and interacting with various colorful “characters,” we had enough material to fill that infamous blank, white page! Not to mention we had a stellar time.
At the end of our writing crawl, we were feeling relaxed and absolutely giddy about writing our next scene. Our butts had recovered and those pesky voices were muzzled… for the moment.
We highly recommend this form of therapy to all writers. And to all of those innocent bystanders, we thank you for your contribution to our novel, and we apologize for…aw, never mind, you didn’t know we were doing it anyway.
So the next time you are out for a night on the town, and you notice two attractive ladies staring at you and “texting” on their phones, BEWARE! They probably aren’t trying to get your attention; they may have just turned you into a work of fiction!