Monday, May 14, 2012


by James Duckett

There is a phrase I've heard, and I wish I could accredit it to somebody, called BICHOK. It simply stands for "Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard." This has been my mantra since I got back from LDS Storymakers, except that I have been doing my writing in a couch and not a chair, so the phrase still applies. Yay!

While at Storymakers a friend of mine asked how I was enjoying the conference. I said I was getting a lot out of it but before I started writing I had a lot of revisions to perform on my outline. The same outline I've been working on for months.

She said, "Enough is enough. Stop outlining and start writing the story. If you keep updating your outline waiting for it to be perfect you will never get around to writing your story."
Well, I've taken that to heart. Since then I've added several chapters to my story and it is progressing faster than it ever has before. Is it perfect? Of course not, it is the first draft. But progress is being made and that is what matters. Progress that would not be made if I didn't get my butt on my couch and kept clicking away on the keyboard. Writing the story is much more productive than nitpicking away at the outline.

So this is for you, if you are struggling getting some progress done. If you don't start writing I can promise you that your story is not going to write itself. Your story will not get written until you, and ONLY YOU, sit down and start working on it.

I've blogged several times on making time for writing. Notice I didn't say "finding time." If you are trying to find time it will never come up. Something more urgent or pressing will rear it's distracting head. You need to MAKE the time to write, and then write. Put it on the calendar. Let your family know that your writing time is YOUR time and if any emergencies crop up then, well, that is what 911 is for, right? Okay, maybe not that extreme. Maybe.
However, every now and then you just need to roll up your sleeves and make the best of a free moment. I've got another friend who introduced me to #DEW time. #DEW, being a hashtag on Twitter, is an anagram for "Drop Everything and Write." That means get off Facebook. Stop worrying about your level 15 battle cattle on zooville or whatever your Internet game of choice is. Just drop it all and do nothing but write.

Make the time, schedule it, put your butt in a chair (or couch), and get to writing!


Anonymous said...

I had almost the exact same experience at the conference this year! I've been working on an outline for a YEAR and after the conference I finally decided enough is enough and started writing. It feels great to be making progress again!

Heidi said...

I took her advice, and I think I've written about 150 thousand words of a 60 thousand word novel. Turns out, I need an outline. *Headdesk*

Just emphasizes the importance of finding out what works for you.

Unknown said...

Heidi: Haha, that made me laugh. That could be a good topic for another blog post. I find outlines VERY important, but there comes a time when you've outlined enough and it is time to get to writing.

Weaver said...

Good for you, James. I've found that for me the real writing happens during the edit. I can't edit until the dang thing's done.

Goddess of Mintaka said...

The first place I heard the phrase "BICHOK" was in the Writing Podcast "Writing Excuses"
I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that's were it came from originally. In the episode they first bring it up in, it sounds like it's Howard's personal thing.

Unknown said...

Goddess: Now that you mention it, I'm feeling pretty strongly that is where I first heard it.

Keith N Fisher said...

I used to hear the phrase at writers conferences six years ago, so Howard might have made it his own, but I don't think it originated there. Great post James.