What draws readers?

Have you ever wondered what makes people actually read blog posts? Me too. So I thought I’d try a catchy blog title to see if it picks up a hit or two. [The original title, Lose Ten Pounds in Two Days brought my regular readers, and no one else. It has been changed to protect the innocent.]

Of course, I have to stay on topic, so here goes:

If you want to lose Ten Pounds in Two Days, you can go on the starvation diet and hope for the best — or — you can write a book.

Yes! You heard correctly. Writing a book is a guaranteed way to lose weight.

You lose the weight of the hair you tear out in frustration when your characters refuse to go down the dark alley you told them to explore. You lose the weight of the fingernails you chew to the quick because you are ridiculously close to the deadline and still have half the book to write. You lose weight because you have no time for fixing a meal, no time to go to the grocery for frozen dinners, and since you’re still in your pajamas at four in the afternoon, you can’t tear through a drive-through for a food fix.

In addition, there’s the additional exercise you benefit from pacing the floor, flinging edited pages at the waste paper basket, and plucking the cat off your keyboard when she decides she’s waited long enough for you to notice that her food bowl is empty. (After all, that insistent meow says, she’s not on deadline, you are. She still needs to eat.)

Truth to be told I do lose weight when writing regularly. No time for snacks. Not as much television watching. More walking or gardening to work out plot snags. I drink much more water and far less soda. (The whole no time to go to the grocery store thing.) I will admit that during the editing phase, my manuscript loses more weight than I do. Much of what I write are things that I need to know, but that the audience for the actual book may not need or want to know. I write in a meandering path, so much of the extras have to hit the cutting room floor so to speak before the book is called done.

True confession: I’ve never managed to actually lose ten pounds in two days or even two weeks. Like everything else worth doing, losing weight — and writing books takes a little longer than two weeks.

Sorry — If only it was really this easy.

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