Monday, February 26, 2007

"What do you need to write?"

Devon tagged me with this question, so here goes. I'm with you, Devon. The only thing truly needed is something to write with and something to write on. I do have a particular pen and a particular blank book that I like to write in when I'm writing by hand, and since I carry them everywhere I go, it's easy to get my hands on them, but if inspiration strikes and I don't have them, I'll grab any pencil/pen/crayon/marker or whatever and anything I can write on, whether it is a napkin or some kind of paper and will write away. Most mornings, I write a little at each red light during my commute. Since there are about 10 red lights between my house and the Interstate, it equals about 20 minutes of writing every day (I don't usually count that in my writing time, though!)

Ideally, I would rather use the computer when I'm writing for longer periods of time, mostly because I type faster than I write, although I really enjoy the physical act of writing. I think it's a more creative action than typing, which is more mechanical in my mind. But since it doesn't hinder the flow of creativity and since it's faster which means I'm more productive, I use it most of the time. I always have music playing when I write, usually from my iPod. I plug it into the external speakers and pick a playlist that fits what I'm writing and just listen and write. Sometimes I make a playlist just for each different story I'm writing, so that when I start working on that particular piece, I just choose that playlist. I find music very inspiring, and it can help shape a scene that is unformed in my mind. If I'm writing fairly technical nonfiction, I prefer instrumental because the lyrics distract me. I find myself singing instead of writing! But with fiction, I can listen to anything. With grants, I prefer something Celtic, because it is soothing and wards off the headache I always get when I write grants. I usually write at home, although I do enjoy getting out to a coffee shop every now and then. One reason I prefer writing at home is my chair. It's the most comfortable chair in the world. I bought it when I was doing medical transcription at home and would sit for 8 hours at the computer. Comfort is key when you have to sit that long!

So that's it, and thanks Devon for tagging me! I now tag Ed and Chris. (Chris thinks he's not a "real writer" but I think his words are beautiful!)


  1. Nothing like that good trusty notebook and pen, is there?

    Ooh, what kind of chair do you have? I need to get a better one.

  2. I'm more of a bad blogger than a wretched writer (with crappy consonance).

  3. Devon,

    I'm not sure what the brand name of the chair is, but I got it at Office Depot several years ago. It has a high back and is very soft for an office chair. It rolls, which is great because sometimes I need to get to the bookshelf near my computer (near enough to roll over to it but not quite near enough to stretch and get what I need!) I'll see if I can find the brand somewhere so I can let you know. I can tell you what I did when I bought it, though. I spent hours sitting in different chairs, rolling them around, reclining them, and just testing every feature. I ended up with the one I have now because it offers great back support and is soft. Those were my two big "must haves"