A Good Writing Day (A Second Person Adventure)

It might begin around mid-morning or noon: You notice that you’re still in pajamas, or perhaps that you haven’t any pants on. No matter; you’ve brushed your hair and your teeth and are therefore not a total disgrace. You’ll dress when you finish this passage. Keep writing.

You resolve, as tasks fleetingly cross your mind, that today you will 1) update your blog 2) call the eye doctor/dentist/other professional 3) practice French, play guitar, and exercise 4) sew that button, write that letter, do the laundry, etc.  …When you get to a stopping point.

It occurs to you the mail’s arrived. Meh. It can wait.

The phone rings. You don’t answer it. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message.

Cat claws the door. Okay, must break for cat. You know, being a diva, that she’ll just jump up on the desk and wedge herself between you and the keyboard until you adore her, anyway. Take this opportunity to save and backup MS via Dropbox. She’ll lose interest in T-minus five.

(Five minutes later) Why are clothes so hard to choose? You kick yourself for not being dressed yet, but can’t stay in front of the closet long enough to pick out things that match. Every time you try to think of what you’ll wear with C shirt another sentence comes to you and you have to write it down before it slips away. Ms. Muse so rarely whispers; to ignore her would be like ignoring a hummingbird, or the harvest moon, or a diamond that washed in with the tide.

Your phone blinks with notices: new message, low battery, missed call. You turn it over and return to your dialogue.

At some point you glimpse your pajamas strewn across the bed. You suppose that means you are dressed now.

You don’t eat lunch until 3:00 and don’t eat dinner at all, even though your stomach reminds you every hour on the hour after 8:00 that you’ve forgotten something. You run out of water but can’t tear yourself from the word document to refill your glass. You won’t even leave to go to the bathroom. Who knows when you last went?

The room is suddenly dark. You realize the sun has gone down. That can’t be good for the eyes. You flip on a light and sit back for a little refresher, reach for a drink. You remember your glass is empty. Your bladder, however, takes the occasion to remind you that it is not. Still, you’re on a roll. If only you could finish this paragraph and transition to the next scene…

The chair grows rigid and uncomfortable. You remember reading somewhere that people who sit for more than three hours a day have a shorter life expectancy. You shift and adjust and straighten and slouch and put up your knees and put down your knees and still the cursor and blank space mock you. Blink. Blank. GAH!

You get up. Pace. Glare at the computer and spin away again, hold your face in your hands. Deep breath. You’re going to finish this scene, dammit. You exhale, look hopelessly up at the ceiling, then–


Back in the chair. You’re clicking keys like a demon now, unstuck and ravenous. Ooh, this is good. Oh my god, why didn’t you think of this sooner? THIS IS PERFECT! You’re on fire! Clackity clack clack clack…

Finally, with sore wrists and an aching back you crack your neck, sit up straight, and review what you have written. It isn’t perfect, but it isn’t unhandsome, either. You pick up your glass and find it’s still empty. You set it back down and keep writing.

At last you hit save. Dinner (bread and a cookie, or something made in a mug) is eaten; one of ten things you planned to do today plus a shower are achieved.

You collect your pajamas, still strewn on the bed, and slip back into them. You then slip into bed, pull the covers up, and sit. You take a long drink from your refilled glass of water; check your email, or your phone, or the things you didn’t get to in your planner. You’re tired but not sleepy. You might read a while.

…Then again, the shower knocked a few ideas loose. Why not try them while they’re fresh in your head?

You open your MS and write.


2 responses to “A Good Writing Day (A Second Person Adventure)”

  1. Ah, that’s how you write second person! I read that the technique has been used by some well-known writers. Might try it out in a short story maybe.

    1. Yes! Second person can be so much fun. Definitely worth trying out!

      Now that you mention it, though, the number of books and stories I can think of with ‘you’ as the narrator is very limited. Off the top of my head, just *If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler* by Italo Calvino and this children’s series that was popular here in the 90s, the *Choose Your Own Adventure *books*. *Fun times…

      On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 11:14 PM, The Read Room wrote:


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