the mutt


Posted in Writing by grx20 on November 19, 2008

Been a while, hasn’t it?

BIC HOK TAM sounds like a Thai dish that one would look at suspiciously.
“It doesn’t have peacock ears, right?”
“No, ma’am, it not have the peacock ear.”

If you head over to this interesting site called book in a week, you will find their philosophy is captured in BIC HOK TAM.

BIC – Butt in chair
HOK – Hands on keyboard
TAM – Typing away madly.

snoopy typing

As they say, ‘this is the best way we know of to get any writing done.’ And I agree. I especially like TAM – Typing away madly. It brings to mind visions of a writer at his desk pounding away at his keyboard, a manic look burning through the paper (or screen), hands thrashing around and hair flailing, when the promise of dawn is still far away. I like TAM – it sounds good, inspiring almost. Type away madly – Swing Away (as in The Signs) … type madly, with abandon. Madly … like a brute, getting fingers wedged between the keys. The glazed, scary glint in the eyes is essential.

Get your story down on paper. Edit later. Make mistakes … hell, you will make mistakes. Don’t worry about it. No one’s going to see it. Not everything you write has to be published. Send your internal editor on a holiday under the Tuscan sky. If it sounds awful and terrible to read, that’s fine. You CANNOT get it dot-right on the first go. Books aren’t dropped at your doorstep by the Book Stork. It takes a lot … a lot of work. So focus on getting the entire story on paper, no matter how hard it seems.

It has worked for a lot of people – as their website will testify. And I agree with the fact that unless you get your BIC and HOK and TAM, you really will not get anywhere.

On a related note, I must mention that November is National Novel Writing Month. Or NaNoMo, (NaNoWriMo, in some cases). Of course – that’s in the United States, not here, in India. But it is an interesting concept. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Write hot is the mantra. The idea is to get that difficult first draft done, without editing, without correcting, worrying, or bothering about how good it is. Like the site rightly says, most people don’t even get to writing the first draft. Don’t worry about the plot, character development, flow, and other related demons. That’s for later, when you edit. You might not even write in sequence. Maybe just random scenes each day. Start with the middle, shift to the end, maybe a few parts of the beginning later … whatever. Get 50,000 words done in a month. 50,000 isn’t quite novel length. It is about 30 to 40 thousand words short. But it’s a start. And getting 50,000 words under your belt is not a mean task. Check out the website, for more details.

I would like to invite you to read (or re-read) my post called, The Price Of Your Dreams. What if the price of all your dreams is writing 10 pages a day? Assuming 250 odd words a page, that is 2500 words a day. At the end of week one (a seven day week, Herr Escapist), is a cool 17,500 words. In a month, you should have knocked off a jaw-dropping 70,000 words. That, monsieur, is a novel. And to nicely tie things up, the key to getting this done is BIC HOK TAM.

See the pages stacking up.

Type away madly.



11 Responses

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  1. Jo-Naathan said, on November 20, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    This is a good post – very entertaining reading on your side in addition to the useful links. I like the romanticizing of the ‘MADLY TYPING AWAY AT THE KEYBOARD’ … a head full of wild hair a la Einstein would complete that picture.

  2. Peter Shumway said, on November 21, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Interesting blog. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  3. the mutt said, on November 21, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Thanks Jo-Naathan, Peter, for stopping by.
    Yes, Typing Away Madly, immediately brings to mind the kind of image you’re talking about. And the phrase has energy …

  4. Christy Bharath said, on November 21, 2008 at 6:43 am

    sounds like you have a caffeine addiction, and that’s always a good thing…interesting blog, very.

  5. the mutt said, on November 21, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Caffeine addiction – ha! thanks. A nice cup of tea gets me typing away madly.

  6. MSR-5701 said, on November 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    not to be nitpicky (well okay, to be maniacally nitpicky), ‘bic hok tam’ sounds more vietnamese than thai – wouldn’t you agree?

  7. Vyshnavi said, on November 23, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    where have you been roaming mutt!?
    welcome back!

    • the mutt said, on December 8, 2008 at 11:49 am

      Hi Vyshnavi.
      Where have I been? There’s so much good stuff around … it’s hard to keep track and find them.
      But someone’s got to do it. : )

  8. James Alagappan said, on November 23, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Interesting post and I checked out the reference web site as well. It might be interesting to start of thread of ideas for short stories, novels and poems. One idea could be ‘interesting characteristics of a character’ that people can contribute towards and could be of communal interest. With critical mass, I think for writers, a plethora of ideas flowing on a variety of topics would be invaluable.

    Keep up the good work on the blog.

  9. the mutt said, on November 24, 2008 at 4:51 am

    Hi MSR,
    Vietnamese? Hmm… the chef is Vietnamese, but the dish was prepared in Thailand. 🙂

  10. […] morning as I was reading The Mutt, I stumbled upon the word “Peacock” in funny piece called BIC HOK TAM …and for obviously limmericky reasons, I got reminded of Canadian writer and humourist Stephen […]

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