Processes and Habits

scare tactics hook, cooling patches, wrist support


My nutritionist friend jokes that I can’t take care of myself. But it’s not a joke because it’s true. The little that I do for health is usually on accident, like taking the stairs. But what I’ve learned is that there are absolutely no physical benefits to writing. If you’re a writer, you’re fat and your bent spine makes your pelvis sag (I may just be describing myself here). But I do have tricks. I have this medieval looking hook that’s probably a stolen artifact from the Chosun Dynasty, and I use it to pull out knots in my shoulders. Sometimes, I walk around with it and my tired, bloody nose to scare my roommate to pieces. And because I have a free desk that comes up to my chin, my wrists have become little T-Rex arms. The wrist support was also free.


eucalyptus candles, fake tears


This is the only scent I’ve been on for 7 years. Also, that sounds dumb because the candles clearly say STRESS RELIEF and it may be psychosomatic. But there’s something ritualistic about the heat, mint, and flickering. Not really, if you don’t like heat, mint, and flickering. Also, last week, I almost went to the ER because I scratched my cornea pretty badly. It was dry and I cut it in my sleep. So now, eye drops; eye drops everywhere.


chart thingy


This is embarrassing. One day, I drew up this not-even-straight thermometer and I colored it to mark the progress of my new manuscript. Like in elementary school. I marked the top at 60K words as an estimated end and jot numbers down the side. This is my progress inside 3 1/2 weeks which is many times over my usual pace. I think I owe it to this exercise. It’s been fun to see (with its wonderful lack of color coordination or appeal).  Having the chart makes my work more physical and real to me which I need. I suppose this time around, I just want to have some fun with it.


  1. akandrewcom

    I think it’s essential to have 3 dimensional things involved in your writing. I miss writing first drafts in pencil which was my own personal link with drawing. But we’re constantly trying to make our characters 3 dimensional si why not have tools to reflect that. Love the chatty thing tho I did wonder what the diff. colors mean. I do a similar thing though more boring as its just a spreadsheet. But play a little game with myself on the word count targets for the week.
    As to the hook I have a similar one that is S shaped but serves the same purpose.
    Now you would see that in your regular ‘how to Become A Writer Book’. Clearly all tools of the trade.
    Phew. Nice to know I’m not the only one…

    • angelaejkoh

      I color the chart using a different marker each time. Hence, the layer cake effect (an ugly one). But it’s useful to see how I write in different chunks of time.

    • angelaejkoh

      I used to dance on a competitive team and I’ve seen the doctor more since starting to write than I did back then. Writing has its physical drawbacks. The hook will set you up!

      • Robert Szeles

        The hook, and my friend told me about those patches. I have the ointment version. I just have to find someone to rub it in cause I can barely reach that spot on my back myself.

        I actually go swing dancing about once/week. Yes, I think sitting at the computer is probably more hazardous!

        Writing: a dangerous contact sport? Or is it, a dangerous lack-of-contact sport?

  2. Justsomeone

    I have tried that colour chart productivity technique for my artworks before. But for me it was just a procrastination tool. Something I’d always stare at hoping it would fill up itself and then I would look over at my poster and subsequently it would be filled up too with miraculous pencil strokes. Then I figured that my projects in themselves were just fancy colour charts of productivity.

    Oh By the way. Is that you in the After School special music video shooting staplers?

    P.S. a while back in our exchange of replies you asked me to reveal myself. well.

    Tada! Here’s my sparse-frequented blog. Sort of a personal revelation. I haven’t written anything for a while though. Feel free to grace it. Or not that’s up to you.

  3. angelaejkoh

    You’ve found me! Great to work with Wongfu Productions. They were very professional.

    You said color charts are like mini art projects. That’s interesting. Actually, I’ve become attached to mine. Even if it’s unsightly. So this is good news. I won’t feel bad for keeping it around.

    A bit off topic, I just realized I have ads on my blog. When did this happen? I’ve tried to keep my blog free of ads. Oh, man.

    Thanks for leaving your tumblr. I’ll have a look through.

    • Justsomeone

      Oh! Nice! You’re very easy on the eyes, to put it modestly. Your spine doesn’t look bent and your pelvis is definitely not saggy. :). Was it fun to work with Paul Dateh? I am a huge fan of his virtuosity. He was how I found that video and I noticed that your blog was linked in the description. Now I have a face to pin to the hyper-concious blogs.

      Also I didn’t notice any ads.

      Take care,

  4. Pingback: What Does 60,000 Words Look Like? « Angela E J Koh
  5. Pingback: That Blog You Write After You Turned In Your Novel « E J Koh

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