Butt in chair–usually shortened to BIC– is a common piece of writing advice. It’s simple and blunt, because it’s hard to write anything unless you actually sit down and , y’know, write. Which can be difficult sometimes. I just went through a few weeks of sick kids, then holidays, then snow days, and let me tell you, getting my butt in that damn chair got tough sometimes. Though I somehow managed to get my butt on couch time in around Christmas. I blame tryptophan.
The kids are finally back in school though, and the chair and my butt have been having some quality time. Which is nice, I’ve been humming along lately, putting down over 2K a day. Thinking it through, there’s two things that I think have really helped me out with this.
First, I’ve been going for consistency. When the kids were home all that time, I still dragged myself to the computer once a day. I didn’t get much done every time, but usually I scraped out at least 1K. More importantly, I kept the story mill going in my head.
Second, this current book has a lot of… and this is where I need a cute acronym to match up with BIC. MIG, for mind in gear? No, that’s just kind of dumb. Let’s say head time. I’ve thought about this book a lot. Now, oddly enough, I do tend to think a lot about my books and stories before I write them, but I ended up doing more for this one. I had to make up a detailed outline, and I long breaks while I was waiting for the company to get back to me on it, breaks where I wasn’t writing but my subconscious was worrying away at the story, chewing it up and spitting out ideas.
I’ve always known that time like this, the sitting around, staring at the ceiling time is vital. But I think this is a good reminder to me that it’s just as vital as BIC. BIC gets a lot of attention because its the more easily quantified thing- you sat for so long, you wrote so many words, you earn your cookie. This daydreaming, mulling process, it’s not really quantifiable. But doing it means that when you sit your butt down, its a hell of a lot easier to get your cookie. Because the thinking has to be done sometime, either beforehand, or while your sitting in the chair and staring at the screen. I think its best to do as much of it beforehand as possible.
Because while BIC is critical, if taken too often side effects may include back aches, wikidiction, social isolation, excessive drooling, and irritability.