Monday 28 June 2010


The time has come: it is time to learn how to write like a ninja.

Time to go into training so you can become a ninja-writer!

1    RUN
Become instantly alert the moment the alarm goes off and run. Calculate the distance from bed to your normal place of writing/work. Time yourself. Try to reduce the time it takes you to get logged on and working. It is important to keep a log of the time taken as a target noted is a target you can aim to beat.

2    SWIM
Start small, wade through the stuff you wrote yesterday. Then, submerge yourself in the plot and allow all details to flow back over your head. Once you are deeply into the flow, unleash your fingers and let the torrent of words wash out and onto the page. Hold your breath! Don’t let any physical discomfort build a dam in your stream of conscious thought.

Allow the obstacle course to increase in size and dimension. If wash baskets and Hoovers are becoming a challenge you could tie a zip line, made from a redundant washing line, between two door frames (using a piece of PVC pipe, to eliminate friction and allow for a speedier transit to your normal writing zone, is recommended.) Another suggestion, to ensure you can write like a ninja, is to add a rope swing. This would be particularly effective at cutting down the time taken to get to your writing. An effective rope swing can be created using strong rope lassoed onto a light fitting. The ultra-ninja trick of using a balance beam to bridge open spaces such as landing and stairwell will increase your ninja skill levels, as well as decrease the time taken to get to your writing – double bonus points!

Do not over look the importance of core strength! Sit-ups in the chair, push-ups from the floor and chin-ups off the desk will all enhance your ninja-like writing skills.

Any or all of the following will develop the flexibility and agility necessary to write like a ninja;
1.      Create the sound of racing horses with your fingers
2.      Crack your knuckles repetitively
3.      Drum along to the music your children are inflicting on the neighbours

These will all enhance your manual dexterity. 

Another exercise, useful when your have a WIP in the submissions process, is to hit refresh on your email account. It takes great strength and will increase the speed of your typing to ninja levels.

If you get this ninja skill mastered, your family and friends will forget they haven’t seen you for hours on end. By considering the angles and perspectives when moving around you will be able to minimise guilt by moving silently. regardless of the surface being walked upon, clutter or the mess.

Writing like a ninja involves the skill of visualisation so you can own the path to true en-writing-ment and your writing journey: garret to re-built medieval castle in a three-book deal. Set those sights high.

Help out non-writers and non-ninja writers alike. Support those who still think all they have to do is throw words into a document and send it off to a range of literary agents. Be gentle with those who go the whole hog and send it straight to the publishers to save time. Remember, they probably don’t even know that the ninja-writer’s code in written in TNR script. Don’t brag that you are a ninja-writer. Training in the noble arts of ninja-writing will help when it is truly required.

This will help with most of the above. Caution: intensive training is necessary if you are to be able to bound, bounce and be-doinggg somewhere just above, or below, the ceiling. However, you will be glad that you didn’t over look this skill when a Literary Agent calls to ask if you wouldn’t mind letting her, or him, represent you.

Whether this is the local Writers’ Circle or the On-line Critique Club, there is nothing more necessary for the ninja-writer than honing their skills with other acolytes to the calling.

No need to buy the outfit (remember dark colours are optional). You must now listen: be silent and observant. Keep notes: these observations, made in public, will help to promote the idea that you are special.

Above all else remember you are a ninja – a ninja-writer – so hone your skills and write!

With grateful thanks to Wiki-how, without which I would not have learned the path of true en-writing-ment!


  1. Parkour is so cool. I wish I could do it, but I also really like having unbroken bones.
    This was such a fun post!

  2. Thanks for making me smile, Elaine. I especially like #1.

  3. En-writing-ment. I love it.

    Thank you for this post! Olivia

  4. I'm definitely getting the zip-line installed! It'll be fun :)

  5. Hi Lydia :)
    Parkour does look amazing - less so when the kids try improving their skills around the playground furniture.
    Target setting is great for ninja-writing. ;) Benchmarks and uplevelling are ingrained from the day job.
    Hi Olivia
    The Way of the Writer is never easy. ;)
    Jemi :)
    The zip-line would certainly speed up getting from A to B around the house.