Monday Methods : Chloe Yates

Monday Methods

Chloe Yates


  1. Wake Up
  2. Wander around the house in my nightie trying to remember why I’m here.
  3. Existential misery.

    Puss knows existential misery
    Puss knows existential misery
  4. Cup of tea.
  5. Exercise (with varying degrees of success. There’s a lot of sitting)
  6. Wonder about showering. Sit at desk while wondering, check FB, peruse pointless articles, get distracted by a new episode of whatever Real Housewives is running (because I’m shallow), finally reminded to shower by the distinct whiff of me.
  7. Lunch
  8. Cup of tea.
  9. Remove damp towel from still slightly damp body and realise it’s already 2pm and I should have started work hours ago. Also realise that I’m standing in front of the office window and the blinds are not shut. Smile and wave at neighbours, exit office.
  10. Take ages agonising over what to wear for no reason at all other than it being a convenient procrastination opportunity. A writer should never miss one of those.
  11. Decide to buy only black clothes in the future. Think about nice black clothes.
  12. Dress
  13. Cup of tea.
  14. Sit at desk.
  15. Open Word.
  16. Stare at it.
  17. Cup of tea.

And so it goes.

I’ve never really thought about myself as having a “method”. Madness doesn’t count, apparently. There are no particular rituals, no self-flagellation (ok, that one’s a lie), no special foil hat, no Hail Marys and a shot of Tabasco before I hit the word mines. Last night, however, I was chatting to a gentleman who wanted to know about my work. He asked me about my process et cetera, and it occurred to me that I do actually have one… sort of. When I’m writing a short story, the original tale is always completely different to the final product because I rewrite it and rewrite it until it’s done. Sounds basic, I know, but it took me a long time to learn that words are not concrete, plans are not set in stone and clichés can be useful when your brain’s running on slow (like now). Turns out, words are malleable – they serve you the writer, not the other way around. They’re your clay not your boss. Reworking my work (ahem) is my method.

Secondly, no matter how shit bollock crazy a story may be, it’s always based on something concrete, something I’ve researched and used as a jumping off point. No matter how far away from it a story might end up, it’s always inspired by something I’ve found in the “real” world.  Plus, research is another excellent opportunity for procrastination. Brucie bonus.

So that’s my terribly sophisticated method and its revelation has undoubtedly rocked your tits off. Research, write, rewrite, rewrite… Plus yellow legal pads, pencils and a lot of scratching my arse, natch.