A writer’s day …
This meme ‘What do you need to do to be able to write…’ came from a favourite blogger of mine: Hyaline Prosaic (aka Rowenna) and I thought about the way I approach a writing day and wondered just how professional I really am about it.
1) Where do you like to write?
I like writing anywhere quiet. At home it was always at the kitchen table when everyone was elsewhere. Then I had an accident and snapped all the ligaments in my ankle and up into my leg and was confined to a couch with my leg up and I decided that I really liked writing there. It was comfy and the view out the window was wonderful and I was sitting in front of shelves of all my favourite ‘info-packed’ books. Even though all my research files and texts are in a spare bedroom!
I need solitude and will invariably ‘claim’ the family room and couch as my space on a writing day.
I also have a favourite spot at the beach cottage and if I’m truthful, I’d say I get more done there than anywhere.
2) What time of day?
Oooh, this is a baaaad one. I’m hopeless! Because I feel tied to my other commitments, I leap out of bed and get the chores done; washing, cleaning, grocery shopping, food prep and walking the dogs. I can no more sit and write if other things are screaming to be done than fly. I need a clean slate so to speak. It has only been when I have had to write to a deadline that I’ve felt it’s quite okay to let other things go in favour of an edit or a word count. Truth is when OH is asleep in our bedroom, I can be found in bed in one of the spare bedrooms, bedside light casting an amber glow and the house creaking around me. Then the words fly.
3) What do you prefer to be wearing?
In daytime; jeans, fitted shirts, or if it’s summer – denim shorts, maybe a white t-shirt or a polo-shirt. Bare feet in summer, my favourite suede loafers in winter. I love cardigans in winter… I don’t feel the cold so much and it’s easy to throw on a cardie or to rip it off. Rowenna said the following: ‘And I do like to be dressed–no pajamas or sweats. Makes me feel as though I’m serious about my work to be dressed properly.’ I so agree and I have to add that I don’t function at ANYTHING without a bit of the old maquillage and a brush through the hair! But if I’m in bed, its PJ’s, a bare face (not a good look) and hair pulled up into a ponytail!
4) Beverage at hand?
Camomile tea nearly always. In a Coalport porcelain mug with a bucolic scene in blue and white. Sometimes in winter, hot chocolate with marshmallows melting on the top. And if the sun’s over the yardarm, a chilled chardonnay, summer or winter.
Maybe a chocolate brownie or choc-chip cookie if I’ve made any. It engenders a comfort state and helps the writing flow.
Preferably not unless it’s the music of
bird, wind and wave through an open window. See the cottage space.
7) By yourself or with others?
Self, solitude, quiet. No writing group. Ever. Although I’m a member of the brilliant online peer-review site YWO.com
8) Desktop, laptop or longhand?
Laptop mostly but often in those solo bedtime hours, long hand on an A4 pad where the words seem to flow easier with the pen. It’s odd and a bit of a nuisance as I then have to transcribe. But I guess that gives one a chance to begin the first edit, so maybe not such a bad thing after all. The thing is that longhand seems to be such a personal, intimate way to write and it seriously does work for me. And the company of the famous is pretty good; I read today that Joanna Trollope writes all her novels in longhand!
So that’s me. If you’re a writer, how about you? Let me know by commenting or even adopting the meme on your own blog. Cheers!
Oh, this was interesting. Thanks for sharing. I’ve never considered my routine or thought I might need one. But since we are creatures of habit, it makes sense to have a routine so words flow easier.
Hmmm, I may just adopt this meme for my blog. 😀
Oh do, Judiang. I love to see how other writers operate. So much of writing is solitary and in a bit of an anti-social bubble that it’s nice to see how the others do it.
Did you find similarities or differences?
Thanks for sharing your answers! I love reading about how others work. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has to get dressed and put on some makeup before I feel ‘ready’ to work most days 🙂 And your work spots are so cheerful and light!
This was so much fun. I will have to do this! I am so glad that I found you through Rowenna’s blog. I will be looking around and commenting more shortly 😉
This was interesting!
For me, I always prefer writing long hand (in lovely journals I’ve picked up in my travels). The problem is the transcribing.
And I’m the same way about what I wear while writing. Gotta be dressed, ready to run out of the house.
I may have to do one of these posts. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂
Hi Beth, I’m so glad that someone else likes longhand and that they have to be dressed and ready to run.
The archtypical image of a writer seems to be rolling out of bed, grabbing a strong black coffee and then crashing in front of the computer and bashing out a new bestseller to rival Amanda Hocking. And its that very reason that makes me doubt that I should call myself a writer. Somehow I seem to be forgetting that you MUSTN’T ever judge the book by the cover!
Just because I DO get dressed, that I hate coffee and that I barely manage 1000 words every second day… can I still call myself a writer?
An addiction to coffee and a typewriter don’t make you a writer–the words do. 🙂
As for longhand, I like writing longhand because even though it takes me a while longer to write, I can think and plan better.
Thanks for sharing, it was interesting. I’m not a real writer like you, but I try to write occasionally and I too prefer longhand (because I often cross some things out, but can still see then and sometimes re-put them back into the text- you can’t do that on a computer!), and I too like quiet, otherwise I find it difficult to concentrate.
it’s a pleasure, Dovile. Anyone who writes is a writer, I think. If you write yourself, it means you love words and you want to use an imagination. Being published, unpublished or self-published has nothing to do with it. But taking it to the next level is always an option, be it trad-published or self-published and to be honest that can sometimes remove some of that early, innocent joy.