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Monday, December 10, 2012


Earlier this week, a dear writer friend shared her most important survival instinct with me.

My friend--I'll call her "Jane"--is the creator of a popular children's sitcom, and an uber-successful writer. She also happens to be deathly afraid of animals. Especially wild animals.

Jane's fear of the wild is regularly put to the test during production season, mostly because her show's cast includes a 7-foot Asian Water Monitor Lizard. Although Mr. Lizard looks like a refugee from Jurassic Park, he's usually a docile fellow. (But, as Jane notes, "His handlers make sure to feed him before he goes onstage." Hungry 7-foot Asian Water Monitor Lizards get cranky, evidently.)

In addition to the lizard, last week Jane's show featured a zebra: It was a cute but extremely nervous zebra. (Sharing lines with a dinosaur probably didn't help the zebra's stage fright). 

Jane was onstage typing up some production notes when  the zebra's handlers let him stretch his legs nearby. Somehow the animal managed to slip his rope, whereupon he bolted. And of course, he bolted straight toward Jane.

Jane kept her head. She pushed Save. Only then did she add, "Would someone grab that zebra?" 

Yes, ladies and gentlemen--even under the most extreme duress, my courageous writer friend remembered to Save Her Work.

So that's Jane's most valuable tip for the week. What about yours? What's your most important habit as a writer, the one that has gotten you through thick and thin? We want to know!

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