WRITING HABITS

I’m a newbie writer and it’s taken a bit of work and time for me to find my groove. It took some experimentation to find not only my style of writing (which, to be honest, is still evolving), but the best setting in which to write.

I’ve learned that I do not do all that well in a public setting. I’m too easily distracted if I’m at a coffee shop. I’d just as soon get my coffee and take it home with me. I’ve have a tendency to talk to myself at work, so it came as no surprise that I do so while I’m writing. Hearing the words aloud helps me figure out if I’m making sense, or nonsense. When we do our 1 hour 1K sessions on Skype, I have to mute my mic so I don’t disturb Sid and James. The other reason the mic gets muted is that I play music while writing, usually very loudly. I also sing along, very loudly. While I’m certain Sid would not mind hearing Zodiac Mindwarp, she and James probably don’t want to hear me squawking along with it. This also doesn’t work well in a public setting. And no, wearing ear buds doesn’t work. I forget other people can still hear me.

I’ve done my best writing on my bed, of all places. It’s been the most comfortable setting, and every time I’ve hit 1,000 words or more in an hour, that’s where it’s happened. I have my old iPod with speakers in there, I can sprawl on the bed, or sit or whatever hits my fancy, and best of all, my cats get settled in on the pillows and don’t bug me. They don’t care if I’m singing or talking out loud. They do mind if I move around too much, but they get over it pretty fast.

I have a very nice office with a fancy desk and chair, but right now, it’s not very conducive to creativity, except for giving me some decorating and rearranging ideas. If my evil plan comes together, I will soon have an awesome recliner in there that I can settle into and write. I usually set up shop in the living room with my laptop on a tray table during our writing sessions. The bad thing about that is that I face the tennis courts and the screaming and grunting can send me into a rabid froth. The cats are fascinated by the tennis players and fight over the window space to observe. Either way, it’s a distraction and I can lose entire swaths of time being annoyed.

Songs listened to while writing this blog: Pool of Booza Booza Booze –Volbeat; Prime Mover – Zodiac Mindwarp and The Love Reaction; Drink – Alestorm; Heartache Every Moment –HIM; & Dark Passenger – Holy Grail.

Sid says: Ahem. I’ll listen to Zodiac Mindwarp any time, no matter who’s singing along.

That said, I don’t really have the heart to tell Mickie that her process can change novel to novel. What works for this one may not work next time. Still, most of us have certain rituals that we follow. I work best sitting at my desk (it’s an antique teacher’s desk my mom refinished for me). The desk has been moved from room to room, and that doesn’t bother me; I just need to be at my desk. I turn off the internet, unless we’re Skyping. Music isn’t necessary for me, but I like to have it occasionally.

What I listened to while writing this piece: Boon-chicka-meow-meow and Karma Katmeleon wrestling on the stairs. Hm. Maybe I ought to try Mickie’s sing-aloud technique so I don’t get paranoid about the crashes.

James says:  What Mickie is going through now is something we have all had to deal with at some point, in various ways.  It can be hard to find a good environment in which to do one’s creative writing.  I like having the TV or music of some sort going when I write.  That’s when I’m at home.  I sometimes enjoy working in a public setting, if only for a change of pace.  That can be tough, though, because I can’t tell in advance who else is going to be there, or even if the chosen place will be available.  (I think back to when our trio was meeting at Starbucks and often had to make do with tables that were sub-standard.)