Writing is like a Tootsie Pop.

Mr. OwlDo you remember the old commercial of Mr. Owl and his proverbial question? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?

People are either lickers, or biters. Yes, I’m talking writing. Most of the time I am a licker when it comes to writing. I take my time, I dwell, thinking and doubting. I wonder which direction my characters take, which clothes they wear, which setting is suitable, what inner turmoil fuels their reactions, etc…

The only problem, at this pace, things can go stale–writing and Tootsie pops. If you sit there and hold a Tootsie Pop long enough the wind will dry it out, losing the taste, dust or bugs land on it, not to mention your hair will get tangled in the sticky mess. Yuck!

If I allow my doubt and questions to creep in my writing, I may not finish. I wonder whether this was the right flavor. I want to wrap it up in the paper, put it away, and grab another flavor.

The only problem, once it is licked and the wrapper goes back on, it sticks. It is hard to remove and go back to that same old story. Wait, we’re talking lollipops, right? It is the same with writing.

If I want to write a story, I have to take a bite. A big bite. I have to get to the core of things and quickly. Once I take that big bite, then I can stop and chew. I can savor the hard candy with the soft chewy center. The flavors mingle and something new emerges. A taste I never imagined when I chose the flavor in the beginning.

Remember, the beginning has to be fast for a great experience. Just because you took a bite, doesn’t mean you are required to swallow. Stop, savor, and experience. If you chose the pop with the gum in the center, you can chew for a long time.

As I stated at the beginning, I’m naturally a licker, but I’m trying to be a biter.

What kind of Writer,  or Pop-eater are you?


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