There is something to be said about doing something on a consistent basis. Whether it's working out, writing a novel, or eating Golden Oreos, somehow it gets easier do to, day after day.

But heaven help you if you do things the exact same way all the time. That's when things get, well, really dull. And that sense of sameness settles in like a dull ache behind your left kidney.

Perhaps that's why I never took up music; just the thought of doing scales over and over again made me rush to a blank canvas or notebook to sketch, write or send secret love notes to the boys who never knew I existed. Probably because I always signed those notes with "your secret admirer."

So instead of checking out more websites, classes and info on writing a novel (which I tend to do in times of stress), I took a breather and read some books. One I didn't get through; another in which the lead character bugged me so much I wanted to stop reading, but I couldn't put it down because the story was so darn good; and another that made me feel like I was 16 again.

I'd forgotten how much fun it is to read a book for the love of reading instead of studying it as a lesson to be learned. This is something I'll have to do more often.

And while I've been good about getting words on the page every day for my current WIP, I reached a point where I needed to take a step back and give it the stink eye. Some parts were, I hate to say it, skimmable. Trouble is, if the writer feels like skimming over a paragraph or two, how dare I expect a reader to be captivated?

Yeah, I went to the ugly place again. And picked up some postcards and a banana-shaped harmonica. Because everyone needs a harmonica once they've been to the ugly place.

But sometimes we all need to go to the ugly place -- especially after eating all those Golden Oreos. It's what helps us realize that things can be done in a different way (one cookie a day instead of an entire bag) or approached from a different angle (writing longhand instead of on the computer) to make the journey more interesting.

That's my two cents.

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