Monday, December 11, 2006

When it comes to developing writing habits, experiment.

Posted by Lisa

When it comes to writing, and writing habits, authors' quirks are as unique as the books they write. As I grow as a writer, I continue to refine my writing habits: What time of day works best for me? Do I need quiet to think, or do I function well with background noise? Listen to music? Write with paper and pencil? Or keyboard?

Maybe, I figured, I should study the masters. That's the best approach, right? If something works for them, I should try it myself. Luckily, here in Boston, we have a wealth of local talent. Why shouldn't I turn to them for ideas? You know, check out their writing habits then try those habits myself.

Well, these authors are way cool, and this is what I've heard:

Christopher Castellani likes the background noises of a cafe when he writes (conversations, music - the occasional clatter of dishes). The anonymity of sitting in a corner with a laptop.
I tried it. I loved it. I was sold. I frequent my closest book store once a week.

Steve Almond digs writing to music.
So do I! I tune my I-pod to the mood of the scene I'm writing. Sad scenes, play sad music. Action scenes, play fast music. Happy scenes, play the Grateful Dead.

Jenna Blum has a special type of bound journal to write in, only available at Barnes & Noble. At least I think she said Barnes & Noble at the Novel Class I attended at Grub Street Writers last summer.
Jenna's onto something. Though my writing pads are thin lined looseleaf, the consistency of the feel, the spacing, it works.

So what's just right for me? Definitely morning. Definitely evening. Definitely not any time between. Other approaches work for me:

Writing at the kitchen table.
Writing on the top bunk of a bunk bed.
Writing cuddled next to my dog (how cute is my dog?)
Writing on long drives to Canada.
Writing on short drives to French Memories Bakery (passenger seat, of course - husband driving).
Writing in French Memories Bakery.

Then taking a break. After all, I need a break sometime, and if I'm in French Memories Bakery, well...


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