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Saturday, July 23, 2011

When or Where?

I have some questions for all of you writers out there. . .don't worry, your answers will remain anonymous!

When do you write?  By asking this question, I'm assuming that like me, you're a part-time writer; you probably have to squeeze in a few pages around a so-called real job or while the kids are napping. Or maybe you get up two hours early every day in order to pound out a chapter. . or you stay up until midnight, sacrificing those precious hours of shut-eye on the alter of your craft.

I am not a morning person.  Most of my books were written in the wee small hours of the morning.  I found that I could actually begin earlier in the evening, sitting with the family and watching a movie or a TV show, laptop on my knees.  I used that time, when there was still commotion and noise, to re-read what I had previously written or edit an earlier chapter. And then once everyone was safely in bed, I could really get into it.

When I went on my writing retreat last summer, I wrote almost around the clock, only taking breaks for stretching, yoga and a few quick jogs to the fridge for whatever might be lurking there. That was very cool and some of my most productive time.

How about where?  Do you have a desk in your room or den where you bring your stories to life?  Do you sit at the kitchen table? Do you write on the train to or from work?

I wrote a good part of my first book in bed.  I love my bed. . .it is without doubt the most comfortable bed I have EVER had in my entire life, and really, I hate to be away from it ever.  So I just propped the laptop on a pillow and away I went. 

When I began writing late at night, I needed different plan; my husband didn't so much care for the tap tap of computer keys when he was trying to sleep.  So I began sitting in my comfy green chair.  It's a recliner that sits in my family room, and it's MY chair.  For a short time before she passed, it was my mom's chair, and so I feel especially close to her there. I would set myself up in the chair during family TV time and just keep on working through the night.

Unfortunately, we made some changes in our living room seating situation, and now MY green chair has been appropriated by anyone who wants a real seat.  (That usually means my husband or my son in law.) I don't begrudge them the seat, but I have been surprised to find that I don't write as well anywhere else.

We'll be moving furniture around shortly, and before long, there will be a sofa for the rest of the populace and I will reclaim my chair. Until then, I am enjoying stolen moments in my recliner after my husband goes to bed!

Does having the right time and right set up affect your writing?  I think it does.  I don't think I write as well when I'm making do.  Things flow at the right time and in the right setting. At least that's how it works for me.

What about you?

1 comment:

  1. I've found that I can write almost anywhere, but that other elements have to be in place. First, I need music! I can't write without it; especially the music that reminds me of the time period, the person, etc.

    Also, I have to focus. I need to take myself back to 1993/94 and truly be in those moments. I can't do that with the TV on, my daughter running around, the cat in face....

    The best writing I've done was a few weeks ago. I took a notebook, my iPod, and a pen and went to the state park. It was quiet (save for my music) and I could really think back. I wrote 6 pages that morning!

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