What My (non-writer) Friend Taught Me About Writing

hot coffee

image courtesy of freeimages.com

My friend Karee does something I’ve never seen anyone do before. When she gets her mug from the cupboard, she doesn’t pour the coffee right away (like I do…because I’m a desperate person, I am). She lets hot water run from her faucet, filling the mug, and letting it sit for a minute or two.

The first time I saw her do it, I thought, “Hm. She was a missionary kid in Africa. Maybe they had mug bugs there and had to kill them with hot water first. Or, maybe these are her ‘company coming over’ mugs and she’s rinsing out the dust.”

I didn’t ask her why she did that because I’d just met her…and…well, sometimes I’m afraid of being awkward.

The next time I came over, she did the same thing. That was when I realized what she was doing.

She was warming up the mugs so they’d keep the coffee warm longer.

That Karee is one smartie pants, I tell ya.

So smart, in fact, that I totally stole her idea.

This morning, while I warmed my mug, I realized that Karee had taught me something about writing without even realizing it (THAT, my friends, is how smart she is).

Right now I’m sitting on a new novel idea, trying to keep myself from jumping out of the boat (I’m so like Peter sometimes). I want to write this thing, like RIGHT THIS VERY NOW! And when I say I want to write it, I mean I want to write the whole thing. Today. All of it.

But then it would be awful. Truly awful. Why? Because I’m not as ready as I think I am. I have a lot of prep work to do. I have characters to meet (yes, I know that sounds looney toons, but it’s important). I have historical events to research (so I don’t have FDR and JFK drinking Starbucks and taking a selfie). I’ve got to figure out picky little details (like point of view and setting and blah, blah, blah, writer stuff, blah, blah, blah).

I need to let my mug warm up a bit. That way my coffee won’t get cold too soon.

See what I’m saying?

So, I sit and wait. Letting my mug warm up a bit. Letting my brain get prepared.

Because once I start writing, I want to do the very best work I can.

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2 thoughts on “What My (non-writer) Friend Taught Me About Writing

  1. Pingback: Lace and Walt Whitman | Susie Finkbeiner

  2. Pingback: There’s a Giant Stormtrooper Glaring at My Laundry | Susie Finkbeiner

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