Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work: Snacks

February 21st, 2009 by

So it’s like maybe 15 years ago and I’m reading an interview with noted playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon. And in this interview, Simon confesses that one way he forces himself to write is the judicious use of snacks. That’s right. Snacks. I don’t have the interview, but basically what I remember is that he’d get like a bag of Fritos, put them in a drawer across the room , sit down at his desk to write, look at the clock, and say to himself, “Okay, I’m going to write for 30 minutes, then I will allow myself a handful of Fritos.” And he’d write. Then get the Fritos. Sit back down then, “Awright, this time I’m going to write for 45 minutes.” 45 minutes later, more Fritos. In essence, Simon had trained himself Pavlovian style to write, your basic behavioral psychology.

Do some of you use this type of enticement to lure you to write? If not, why not give it a shot? Pick out some snack that you really love. Sit your butt on chair, write for an hour, then give yourself a treat. Cheetos, ahoy!

This has been another edition Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work.

8 thoughts on “Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work: Snacks

  1. Michelle says:

    Funny post. I read this one out loud to the BF.

  2. Désirée says:

    Well, we all have our ways, but no, snacks, is not one of mine.

    I only eat snacks by the computer when I’m stressed. And so far this has never been when writing.

    No good for either teeth or general health.

  3. E.C. Henry says:

    HUGE fan of snacks while writing. Coffee is an absolute must. LOVE red licorice, sugar cookies. Not a big on chips while writing.

    Have actually ate pop corn and drank Coke while listening to my script read back to me by Final Draft. (Treated it like the movie it is, even through it was like last minute line editing listening for things that sounded out of place)

    - E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

  4. Scott says:

    E.C. said, “Have actually ate pop corn and drank Coke while listening to my script read back to me by Final Draft. (Treated it like the movie it is, even through it was like last minute line editing listening for things that sounded out of place).”

    Now that’s funny – and a great idea!

  5. Luzid says:

    Ahhhh, snacks.

    Yes. Yes I do enjoy them while writing. But I don’t need them to motivate me — I need them to GET IN MAH BELLY!

    : )

  6. Olive says:

    OK, Scott, were the Fritos your flourish or Neil Simon’s? He seems more high-brow than that!

  7. Alissa says:

    Sometimes, I actually use writing as a sort of reward. With a day job in sales, there are times when one just needs to take a break from making those cold calls, and so I make a deal with myself that after 6 calls or whatever, I will stop and write a scene. I’m not sure if this method is great for fostering creativity, but, so far, it keeps me sane.

  8. David says:

    Unfortunately, I'm not patient enough to wait till I'm done writing, I use tea and chocolate as I write, along with acoustic guitar music, to keep my mood and pace regulated. Sad but true!

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