Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Writing Routine

A Really Bad Poem by Susan McBride

How is it done? I'm often asked
About the task
That’s my love and my livelihood.

Are you chained to your desk,
Not leaving your nest
Until your word count’s in the can?

I wish I could say,
“Hey, this is the way”
I always tell my stories.

But every book’s a new deal,
I don’t know how I’ll feel
Or what’ll crop up and annoy me.

When deadlines loom
Emails boom
And laundry piles up.

Something breaks or leaks
My husband freaks
And I wait for the repairmen.

I have author friends
More disciplined
Who write everyday like clockwork.

Some in car pool lanes
(which I think is insane)
or at Starbucks while the joe perks.

I admire the ones
Who don’t miss a beat
With second jobs and kids at their feet.

I just try to keep
My butt glued to my seat
And hope nothing gets out of hand.

But crises always arise
Things I never surmised
That throw me off my game plan.

So when I’m asked
How I do this task
I don't always have an answer.

“I don’t know,” I'll admit,
It’s a mysterious bit
Then I'll shrug and say, “It’s magic.”


Susan McBride is the author of Little Black Dress, The Cougar Club, and the forthcoming The Truth About Love and Lightning (William Morrow Paperbacks, 02/13). At nearly eight months pregnant, her writing routine is pretty well shot to hell, which is good practice for after the baby comes. 


  1. Ahh, Susan!
    You made me grin and nod and cheer for you all at the same time ;). LOVED the poem and the sentiment behind it even more.

  2. Thanks, Marilyn! I am a terrible poet, but I surely know it. So Dr. Seuss has nothing to worry about. ;-)

  3. Brenda, you're so sweet! Thanks. :-)

  4. What a fun way to answer this question, and one of the most truthful answers I've read!

  5. Thanks, Carleen! And thanks, too, everyone for not mentioning what a bad poet I am! ;-)

  6. I loved this post. And I love that you don't have any idea how you get it done. That makes it really magical.

  7. Ernessa, thanks for that! I'm afraid if I figure it out, whatever it is will stop working (I know that sounds weird!). So I just keep plugging along and try not to analyze too much.

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