Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Writing Essentials

When I hunker down for a serious bout of writing (as in “OMG deadline is looming, I must write like the wind” writing), I try to get all my essential writing tools in place before I start. I’m not sure how all of these things came to be so essential to my writing time and space, but I never argue with process and this is just part of my process.

Drinks: Either Diet Coke (w/Splenda) or hot tea. Sometimes both are on my desk at the same time and I’ll alternate between the two. I go through a lot of Diet Coke and tea. A lot. It’s almost embarrassing. I do switch off to decaf tea after the first couple of cups, but I don’t do any of that herbal stuff. Black tea (English Breakfast, usually), splash of milk, no sugar. The Diet Coke needs to be over heavy ice and in a glass, not a plastic cup.

Snacks: I’m a snacker, and it needs to be something small so I can get them by the handful. Kashi’s TLC crackers are good when I want a savory snack, but usually we’re talking jelly beans. Specifically, Jelly Belly Very Cherry jelly beans. (I don’t eat the cheap, nasty jelly beans. DG learned the hard way not to show up with those.) Every blue moon, I’ll be in the mood for some cinnamon ones, but Very Cherry is my go-to jelly bean for writing.

Music: I usually listen to instrumental music. The Pandora.com “New Age Instrumental” is quite good. I also listen to John Bayless a lot. He does Bach-style interpretations of music by the Beatles and Elton John. It’s very good for my brain to work to. (I know it sounds weird, but click on those links and give it a listen.)

I also listen to Enigma a lot. It’s not instrumental, but it’s very meditative, so it seems to work.

Other essentials:

Lip balm. I have tubes of the stuff everywhere in every imaginable flavor and type. Chapped lips bug me and I can’t think.

Lotion: Brand is not important, but it must be unscented. I have very dry skin, you see.

I think there’s something very meditative and relaxing about the motions of putting on lip balm and/or lotion – plus, it feels good, so there’s instant gratification.

My desk is cluttered with general office debris like staplers and such, and there’s always a notepad and pen in the middle so I can write down ideas that come to me that aren’t immediately useful, but it’s not like I need good luck charms or totems in order to write.

Just the essentials. ~grin~

What are your essentials?



Playground Monitor said...

Tea for sure -- hot or iced. And I have lip balm and hand lotion too. I have some instrumental CDs I've put on iTunes on my laptop and also on my iPod. I can listen to instrumental music and write but if I listen to something with lyrics, soon I'm singing along and not writing.

Lately I've been doing a lot of writing longhand, which means I must have a legal pad (white, yellow -- doesn't matter) and THE right pen. I have a couple favorites that write smoothly and fit my hand well.

At home I often burn a scented candle for mood and for well... just to make things smell good.

PC's Mom said...

As long as I have "my cup" (cold Diet Pepsi with lots of ice, in my insulated cup), I can tackle whatever comes my way!!

Angel said...

I'm learning to write on the fly, but a drink is a must. I'm trying to switch to water or cold tea over ice, but my fave is diet coke. :) I don't really snack much while I write, but I'll snack if I'm trying to avoid writing. Go figure!

Instrumental music or my character's "theme song" playing always helps. Revisions on paper with only certain pens (no red!) and new words usually on my alphie.

I'm off to start the writing for today!

Kira Sinclair - AKA Instigator said...

My must haves? Music (with lyrics), headphones, a bottle of water and possibly something small to munch on when I get stuck and my brain needs power.


Kira Sinclair - AKA Instigator said...

My must haves? Music (with lyrics), headphones, a bottle of water and possibly something small to munch on when I get stuck and my brain needs power.