New Footwork Can Give Your Old Mojo Young Legs--Reb MacRath


I had the right footwork I thought.

So there shouldn't have been any problem. Come on! I'd written more than a dozen novels...picked up a major award...and over the years I'd found tacks to turn books out more quickly without sacrificing quality. And yet here I was at the start of my next novel...shaky as a schoolboy before a major exam. 

I'd finished the usual first month of filling a Moleskine notebook with questions and notes. Done! I now knew the basic storyline and had two full months to cook up my outline. This has worked over and over--and yet my confidence was fading. 

On an unrelated whim one day I ordered a package of reporter's stiff-covered 3.75" x 8" notebooks manufactured by Portage. I'd thought the size would be perfect for household use: one book for for tracking for bills...etc.  But I had a lightbulb moment the same day the notebooks arrived. I could try using one of these for 'master keys' extracted from my Moleskine scribblings. Reviewing and distilling would reinforce my faith in what I had. Perfect except for one last missing thing:

This book had to look and feel as special as a secret weapon. It stood to reason that reporters and other pros would want good covers for their notebooks. Voila! In just seconds an Amazon search turned up a premium black leather cover. And in a few days, I had the missing link to new footwork for the old writing dance.

Contents: anything I think I'll need at my fingertips: crudely drawn maps of two small towns...notes on motorcycles and routes from Seattle to Arizona...charts of the sizes of cities vs. towns...profiles for new characters...Etc.

Is information power? Surely--but only if we can retrieve it. And distilling scores of illegible pages into one trim sexy notebook gave me back the confidence that had begun to dwindle. 

A new notebook will replace this one when I complete the WIP. No need to reinvent the wheel every single time. But I'll continue shaking up something else I take for granted with each new book I do.

The only thing I'm confident that I won't try is writing in the nude.

This is my report.


Welcome to MacRathWorld, if you like premium blends of mystery, action, and suspense. From Caesar's Rome to Seattle today, the twists fly at the speed of night. If you're unfamiliar with my work, I recommend starting with the new Seattle BOP mysteries. Here's the link to my AuthorPage on Amazon for a detailed look at the variety of 'rides' in my amusement park.


Eden Baylee said…
Hahah, fun post Reb . I'm glad you're getting your mojo back. Anything that encourages the flow of ideas is good.

I get many of my ideas while in the nude. You should try it -- it's called the shower!

Have a great day,
Reb MacRath said…
I'll give shower-mojoing a soon as I have enough knee flexion to let my mind drift with no fear of a fall. That's still a few months off.
Ruth Leigh said…
Mojo often strikes in the shower or when driving back from the school run, I find. Good to know that even the multi-published have doubts!
Reb MacRath said…
Thanks, Ruth. The butterflies never tire of dropping by to visit.
Wendy H. Jones said…
I love this, Reb. Glad you found your writing mojo and what a brilliant idea.
Bill Kirton said…
Fascinating and Fun, Reb. Good to hear that it works for you. Keep 'em coming.

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