Writing Tricks

I am on deadline now. I have two articles due in a relatively short time and about 35 other things that have to be done. My cellphone is ringing incessantly, the dog is barking and some kid has parked his car in front of my home office so that he and his girlfriend can blast bad rap music.

Needless to say my stress level is higher than I like or need it to be. The first person who makes a crack about my age, hardened arteries, heart attacks or anything that suggests that I need to take a deep breath risks bodily harm. Fortunately I have an arsenal of tricks, tools and resources that I can use to defuse the situation and lower the terror alert from Red to somewhere around powder baby blue.

First step is to turn on iTunes and see what song starts playing:

I’m A Man– Bo Diddley

This is perfect. I start nodding my head to the music and wonder if a few minutes before 10 AM is too early for some Scotch or a shot of  Whiskey. I let the words wash over me:

Now when I was a little boy,
At the age of five,
I had somethin’ in my pocket,
Keep a lot of folks alive.

Now I’m a man,
Made twenty-one,
You know baby,
We can have a lot of fun.

I’m a man,
I spell m-a-n…man.

All you pretty women,
Stand in line,
I can make love to you baby,
In an hour’s time.

I’m a man,
I spell m-a-n…man.

I goin’ back down,
To kansas to
Bring back the second cousin,
Little john the conqueroo.

I’m a man,
I spell m-a-n…man.

The line I shoot,
Will never miss,
The way I make love to ’em,
They can’t resist.

I’m a man,
I spell m-a-n…man.

I can’t help myself and I stand up play a little air guitar and then bang out two sets of push ups. The dog cocks his head at me and offers a quizzical look. I wink and smile back. My head is almost clear and I need just another moment to get into my writing groove. So I sit down and bang out this post where I share some of my tricks for writing when you are stressed out, busy and those around you act like their hair is on fire.

In just a moment I will point, click and publish this post and immerse myself completely in the words that are required to write the stories that help to pay the pills.

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  1. The Rebbetzin's Husband April 13, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Better be careful at your age, Jack.

    (Did I win? Am I first?)

  2. paul wolfe April 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm


    Music is a powerful, spiritual force.

    I have writing music, swimming music, driving music and walking music.

    For swimming – what gets me pumped is either 2112 by Rush – or Tower of Power! (and yep, I have an underwater MP3 player!)
    For driving – nothing beats cruising with the Boss.
    For walking – anything with good bass.
    For writing – that’s a trade secret….I’ll blog about it soon though….


    • Jack April 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

      2112 is a great album. I love Rush and have been to a few of their concerts. Bruce is simply awesome. Looking forward to learning some of your trade secrets. 😉

  3. Stan Faryna April 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Dino: ROFL!

    Jack: My pick me up is Moby’s Extreme Ways http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICjyAe9S54c

  4. Dino Dogan April 12, 2011 at 9:31 am

    This sounds to me like a challenge to an air guitar contest.

    I’ll have you know that Im the meanest air guitar player on god’s green earth. And only your absolute admission of my unsurpassable skills will save you from humiliating, crushing defeat in the air-guitar off.

    Your move Jack B. Your move :-/

    • Jack April 12, 2011 at 11:02 pm

      Sorry Dino before you can take me on you have to develop a reputation and unfortunately you just don’t have it yet. 😉

      • paul wolfe April 12, 2011 at 11:13 pm


        Not only do I play REAL bass – but I kick serious ass at Guitar Hero (I regularly duel off with my 8 year old – who is also seriously baaaaaddddddd). And with my superior knowledge of valid playing techniques, the authenticity of my air guitar performances is unparalelled! (even if my spelling is not – early AM, coffee still brewing).

        Indeed when my youngest son was 5, one of his party games was ‘Musical Moshing’ – kind of like musical statues except all the kids were armed with inflatable guitars and moshed out to stuff like Californication, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Walk This Way and of course Smoke on The Water. And I taught them a full range of tricks including:

        (i) The two handed tap
        (ii) Behind the neck a la Hendrix
        (iii) the propellor (a la Pete Townsend)
        (iv) Playing with da teeth (being careful not to bite the inflatable guitar of course!)
        (v) The Mosh Face
        (vi) The foot on the monitor mosh out
        (vii) the knee dive
        (viii) and more….

        If you guys want to have a duel off, I’ll happily moderate and give you an impartial result. (Though anchor text links are ALWAYS looked on favourably 😉 ). Contact my agent!


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