Sewer System

There are several stages involved in the removal of contamination from anything, including writing.

Pretreatment
This involves removing the big lumps of rubbish before you even start writing and usually involves self-censorship on the basis of your perception as to what would be acceptable by society and your Aunt Mabel. It involves sitting down and thinking of a suitable big idea to write about. Certain themes would be discarded from the mix at this stage, such as titles like ‘Life in the Middle East: a Candid Account of My Time as a Front Line Soldier in ISIS’ or ‘Journal of a Child Abuser’. If it’s not obvious to you why these titles are inappropriate, then I would suggest having a quiet word about the matter with the local constabulary at your earliest convenience.

Secondary Treatment
Once a big idea has been found and deemed to be acceptable, it’s worth spending some time sketching an outline to the piece of writing. This would include such things as a plot outline, chapter notes, character sketches and an idea of the message that the writing is going to convey. Some attention might be given at this stage to discarding plots that involve boring events, long chapters redolent with grandiloquent descriptive passages, characters that have no purpose in life and messages that do not resonate with your audience.

Tertiary Treatment
As you write, you may find that your mind starts whirring and all sorts of thoughts start interfering with your writing process. The trick is to stay focused on your intended outline – filling in the gaps as you type. You will largely find that this is an automatic process that does not involve too much thinking. As long as you stick to the general direction of the plot, your subconscious will automatically throw out the words you need in order to get you from a to b. If you can set yourself far enough back from the process and just let your mind work as something like a word associating machine (one word will suggest the next, which will suggest the next, etc.) then you might even find yourself enjoying the process. It will be an experience akin to watching the events of a movie appear on the screen (albeit a little slower – depending on your typing speed). The things to filter out at this stage are the kinds of thoughts that interfere with this process, such as self-doubt, fear of failure, thoughts that your writing is not good enough or worries as to what your Aunt Mabel will think of the utter bosh that you’re … etc.

Fourth Stage Treatment
The final purification to apply to your writing is the only one that is normally talked about in this context: the editing and re-drafting. Much has been said about this subject already so I’ll just redirect you to an excellent little resource I popped on my blog a while ago called The Twelve Redrafts of Stewart Ferris, which takes you through all the necessary stages of redrafting.

So there you have it – a quick guide to flushing the sewerage from your writing system. All that remains is to wish you a productive writing session and a healthy, wealthy, happy life. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun!

 

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44 thoughts on “Sewer System

  1. Grin!! Awesome post!
    Have to say I hardly ever plan my posts. I usually write when I’m most driven by an emotion or experience or some such thing and I just get onto the site and write it there! Hardly ever edit my post too… Feels like I’ll end up eliminating everything because I’m never satisfied with what I’ve written 😉

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    • Yeah, Maybe I ought to do more of that. I feel that I’m getting rather stale and need to inject some spontaneity into my posts. Any suggestions? Like, I have one in the works about Messiah and it’s, like – different, but at the same time it’s the same as all the others?
      I think I’m coming down with a dose of existential angst…
      But – hope you’re having a great day, Aishwarya! 😀

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  2. I never plan my posts either. I just write them. As for your post “Sewer System” stinking, I think that’s perfectly normal. Most sewage does.. no? I did enjoy the Post though.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi there! I’m so happy I saw this…right now….something about it resonates for me as I am in the middle of NOT writing a book that I AM writing! 😉 As for posts on my blog…I can only go with whatever is happening in THE MOMENT. I had everything ready for a post that I have been trying to get out there for 2 months…ready to post it Sunday…and then there was no way I could do it given the terror attack here in Orlando. My soul literally directs what appears…and for that I am grateful 😉
    So happy to connect here…I wish you peace! Blessitude!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I see what you mean. You filtered, subconsciously, at the pre-treatment stage. Nice one. It’s almost as if there’s a higher power directing our movements. If only we could relax and let ourselves be moved. 🙂
      Thanks for visiting – your presence here feels good.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Been away most of the week and so there’s a stack of washing and ironing and cleaning to do. Yum!
      Friday has about 3 minutes to run – and its going great! How you spending your evening, Mia?
      I love that you shower blessings at the end of your messages. It’s refreshing.
      I’ve spent large portions of today thinking about what I wouldn’t normally write about. I’m thinking I’m terms of my blocks and taboos and I’m not getting very far. Can you perceive any part of me that seems like it is hidden? You know – like an eclipse or a shadow?
      Nighty night for now – Robert.

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      • Robert, I hope you had an enjoyable time while you were away. Splendid, chores are so loyal and they always brighten up any day! I have the same delight waiting for me. Thank you, how very kind of you. Maybe I should stop wishing others well and start using the one word blanket comment, “Wow”. 🙂

        Oh, I love anything taboo, Voodoo or Hoodoo. Really, that’s great that you’re thinking about topics you wouldn’t normally write about. The ideas will arrive, sometimes in sleep or some other inconvenient time and place. 🙂 Enjoy your Saturday and Sunday. ~ Mia

        Liked by 1 person

      • Homosexuality, housework and death strike me as being on the same sort of level in terms of taboo, hoodoo and voodoo – what do you think? 🙂
        Yeah, no, stick to the way you are – it’s perfect already. Sprinkle a little Wow into the mix if you like, but that’s not your core message. IMHO. 😉
        Waiting for those signals from my subconscious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fortunately or unfortunately, “taboo” can be unique to each individual. Ha-ha, I could say much, but I don’t want to muddy up your site. I have a rather ridiculous idea that may work, if your interested. Let me know.

        How are the chores going? 🙂

        Robert, I hope you’re having a wonderful day! Please enjoy! ~ Mia 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thirty four chores on the list and twenty six are marked as done. Number one on the list was ‘write list’ and so on. I’d love you to muddy up my site – the thread is called Sewer System anyway. I was actually worried that you would take one of the comments the wrong way and never come back. I mean ‘homosexuality’ obviously. I wasn’t saying that it’s wrong to be homosexual, just that it’s a difficult subject for me to talk about. Although, actually, there’s no reason why it should be really. So yeah – pretty much what you said really – a taboo is a personal thing. Thanks for understanding, Mia, even before I thought I needed you to. 🙂

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  4. Down to eight, maybe even fewer by now, way to go Robert! Ha-ha, “Sewer System”, you’re so clever! I knew what you meant, please don’t give it a second thought. Keep going with your list, you’re almost done, right? Then you can just kick back, or not! 🙂

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    • I have the joys of saturday night shopping to look forward to. I suppose you’ll be getting dolled up later ready to hit the town and then the select nightclubs. Only 5 to go on the list, and one of them is writing my article for today. What are the odds it doesn’t get done? Thanks for making allowances for me, Mia – you could never know how much I appreciate that. What kind of a day are you having today?

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  5. Oh joy Robert! Saturday night shopping! It never ends, a vicious cycle of duties. You know me so well, exactly the plans for this evening. Five left, amazing! Please forgive my tardiness on your most current post, time is not always my friend. I bet you won’t be able to sleep unless you write your article for today. 😉

    So far so good, hot though, it’s a rather warm day here today. My list was much shorter than yours, but I did manage to get to all of the items, truth be told it should have been much longer. 😉 But there is always tomorrow! Have a marvelous time shopping! 🙂

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    • Just managed to get my article in before midnight, so this is all I have left: wash towels, sort receipts and peroxide ears (you know – that stuff that snap, crackle and pops in your ears when you put a few drops inside).
      Well done for finishing your list, Mia! 🙂
      So what do you do with all your time then?
      I just listened to ‘The Genius Of The Crowd’ and yes, it covers a lot of things and explains much about you. Do you mind if I stalk you a little? That just means try to find stuff about you on the internet, but I can totally not do that if you say so. I can respect a need for privacy.
      Now – maybe I can sleep. I have the feeling that you are in the US and so you still have a ways to go yet. Hope its a good ways. Good night, Mia. 🙂

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      • Yay for the article. Still working and snap, crackle, popping! Ah, my list was nothing compared to yours, I mean really it’s Saturday, a day of rest! I just flit the days away and tomorrow is another Flitday!

        Oh yes, good old Charles. 🙂 Stalk all you like, that’s what the internet is for, don’t let them tell you otherwise.

        I am in the U$. Thank you, please have a lovely Sunday Robert. Hopefully chat with you tomorrow! ~ Mia 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I went to bed too late and got up too early. I’m not at all sure why. Today I’d like to go to a car-boot sale (like a garage sale but people put junk in the backs of cars and head for a big field to try to sell it) for books, walk into town for health, wash towels, drive to Bradford to listen to a talk about meditation, driven to Rotherham to wish my Nephew a happy birthday and see the family and then head for home. Wish me luck! 🙂
        Yep, would like to chat with you in between – for sure.
        Enjoy! Robert.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good luck, an action packed day! 😉 Thank you, I hope you enjoy your journey today. Perhaps later you will share with me what books you picked up, if any.
        ~ Mia 🙂

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      • I picked up 7 books, but I can’t remember the name of the 7th. The others are:
        House of Suns – Reynolds, Alastair
        Flux (Xeelee Sequence, #3) – Baxter, Stephen
        The State of the Art (Culture, #4) – Banks, Iain M.
        Queen Of Angels – Bear, Greg
        The Last Watch (Watch, #4) – Lukyanenko, Sergei
        House of Suns – Reynolds, Alastair
        The Key to Living the Law of Attraction: The Secret to Creating the Life of Your Dreams – Canfield, Jack

        And this is the song I’m listening, which obscurely reminds me of you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfFhxA2JFOA

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      • Okay – let me take out the word ‘obscurely’ and say that the guy talking before the start of the song reminded me of the video on your ‘About’ page (The Genius Of The Crowd by Charles Bukowski) in terms of the cadence and intonation (but not the content – I have not listened to the words yet – just the shapes they make). I associate you (mainly from your photograph – particularly the shades, the black top and the thong around your neck, but also from your words (in terms of your philosophical and meditative bent)) with ‘cool’ and the feel of the song holds the same associations and connotations for me. I also perceive a waif like quality (probably partly from the bone structure of your face and the almost, but not quite, fragility of the ego structures you have set around ‘appearance’) about you, and the sonorous and yet ephemeral quality of the instrumentation and voice on this song remind me strongly of this.
        How do you feel about being subjected to such an analysis (regardless of the accuracy (or lack thereof))? 🙂
        And yeah – seven books is a nice haul. What do you like to read, Mia?
        Hope you have had a pleasant and restful sleep and that it has put you in good stead for the rest of the day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually Robert, you did a great job.

        I do think we are ALL quietly subjected to this type of analysis, the beholders are always accurate, as this is their truth. Don’t you like how Bukowski can come full circle?

        Please enjoy the rest of your day. ~ Mia

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      • Good Lord Mia – you’ve had me worried all day that I’ve offended you so much that you were never going to talk to me again. Ever!
        I should maybe have stuck to ‘obscurely’ and leave all the rest to the shrinks.
        I’m actually really open to this kind of analysis myself, but no-one seems to want to try it on me.
        Please tell me how Bukowski can come full circle! 🙂
        And yes – indubitably I will have a good day – but only if you promise to do so too – otherwise I will stamp my little foot and refuse point blank! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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