In the scene, Ross goes to a tanning salon where he is told to count to five after his front has been sprayed, then turn around so his back can get sprayed.
Once the first spray goes off, he begins counting:
“One-Mississippi. Two-Mississippi. Three-Miss-”
And the spray goes off again before he turns around.
The result is Chandler sarcastically suggesting he went to the sun to get his tan.
We’re like that sometimes with our writing, aren’t we? We get stuck in a system, or what we think is our “groove.” We think the only way to count is “Mississippily.”
When really, all we need to do is let go of some of our inhibitions or habits and let the story (or blog post or essay or article) tell itself. We just need to be there to dictate the words.
I’ll sometimes follow an outline when I write, but then when the story starts taking its own course, I get nervous thinking that I shouldn’t be straying from the outline. But I’ve got to be willing to go with the flow and see where the story is taking me.
Think about the steps you can take today to write “Mississippilessly” and let your story take on a life of its own, without you getting in the way.