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Fun Friday–Six (Weird) Writing Habits

Friday, August 17, 2007

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I can’t believe it’s already Friday! Of course, the last two weeks have gone by in somewhat of a blur as I’ve laid low, trying to recover from a herniated disc/pinched sciatic nerve which has kept me from doing much more than sitting in my recliner or sleeping (when I’m not at work, that is). But each day is a little better, and today I’m starting to truly believe I’ll recover from it sooner rather than later!

Anyway, enough about that!

I thought for Fun Friday, we could share some of our weirder habits when it comes to writing. Like athletes warming up for their sport go through the same routine, I’m sure that most writers have little things we do to prep ourselves to take up the pen or put fingers to keyboard.

1. I have to put my hair up before I can write. My hair is currently longer than shoulder-length. For some reason, it annoys me when I’m trying to concentrate, so I have to put it up either with a clip or in a pony-tail.

2. I have to have music playing. If I’m working on my historical, I listen to classical music/music from movie soundtracks set in the era. If I’m working on a contemporary, I listen to my mix of Standards/Legends that I have ripped on my computer (Sinatra, Dean Martin, Steve Tyrell, Harry Connick Jr., Nat King Cole, etc.).

3. I keep tons of different colors and sizes of Post-it Notes near my computer. I have several of them with important notes written on them stuck around the edges of the monitor. I can’t work if I don’t have a Post-it pad within easy reaching distance, just in case I need to write something down.

4. If I get stuck, I play at least one round of Spider Solitaire to mull things over. Usually after a couple of games, I’ve come up with a solution or a better way to write something and can go back to writing.

5. When I get into the zone, I will forget to eat and drink. Seriously! If I really get into what I’m writing, if the words are flowing—or if my revisions are moving swimmingly along—I can sit at the computer for hours on end without taking a break, even if my stomach was growling when I sat down.

6. There are two times of day when I write best: after ten p.m. and whenever I’m supposed to be doing something else (like when I’m at work). I’m a night person, so the ten p.m. thing is understandable. But instead of the creative juices flowing after I get home from work, it seems that most often, my best lightbulb moments come between the hours of eight and five—when I’m at work and really shouldn’t stop to write them down.

Your turn!

6 Comments
  1. Friday, August 17, 2007 11:14 am

    These were fun!

    I can’t write when my husband is home. I must have something to drink nearby. I have to have checked my email, my blogs, and I have to play the Jigzone puzzle of the day. I need my reference books, post-its (I LOVE post-its), and my laptop. I don’t do any writing on my pc anymore. And in the wintertime, I have scented candles sometimes.

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  2. Friday, August 17, 2007 3:51 pm

    I certainly relate to the at work thing and then I find that betwee 8 and 10 in the evening is good, if the kids cooperate. After 10, I just want to unwind, which means watching some reality TV show or reading.

    I need a relatively clutter free space if I’m at the computer. If I’m writing longhand, I simply need my notebook and a (relatively) quiet spot. And I don’t want to be disturbed. I get mean. (Ask my oldest, who has now learned to let Mommy have time to finish the thought she is feverishly scribbling before interrupting.)

    Some nuts to chew and a tall (32 oz) glass of water.

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  3. Friday, August 17, 2007 9:13 pm

    OH MY!!! My best ideas come with I’m working. 8 to 5 and you can bet that I’ll have a brilliant stroke of creative genius. I have notepads at my desk so I can write down the idea that come. Then I write best on the weekends. And I do fine on a week night so long as I have nothing going on. If I teach that night or skate, when I get home the rest of the evening will be spent on something else because I can’t write. Just can’t.

    I always have music playing. In fact a lot of times I have the TV on with the mute on. Not sure why, but seems to work…this is only when I’m revising though not writing.

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  4. Saturday, August 18, 2007 1:00 am

    I have to have caffeine. There’s no way around it. And something in my mouth, lately I’ve had this love affair with gum.

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  5. Saturday, August 18, 2007 9:57 pm

    Silence! Well, with the exception of Zoe’s very loud purr and the noise my ceiling fan makes. The quieter it is, the more I can write and the better my writing is.

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  6. Monday, August 20, 2007 8:27 am

    I write best when I’m on a schedule and getting up at the same time every day, etc. I need a lot of water, but then I’m up every fifteen minutes so that’s no good.

    And I like a good chunk of time. But that doesn’t happen too often during the summer!

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