Thursday, October 08, 2009

What a writer needs...

This comes from a lot of the posts and comments made this week which all churned in my head until I came up with a list. As a writer what do we need to get the work done? What do we need to feel accomplishment for our work? What do we need to get inspired?

What do we need to keep doing this thing that we all agree is a really hard.

This is my list in no particular order.

1. My work day to start at 9:30am instead of 8:30am - because I can’t write after work, (too drained) and I can’t wake up at 5:00am to get in both a workout and an hour of writing time (too sleepy).
2. Quality Television – because how am I going to get inspired to write about Vikings if guys like Eric from True Blood are missing from my world? (*DWT supporters no matter what - do NOT let me try to write that story! If I mention anything about it please tell me to step away from the computer.)
3. Wine – because I need something to help me wind down from the day and sleep through the night. (Although this could be why I can’t get up at 5:00am. Damn it’s a vicious cycle.)
4. Cheese Fries from Outback – (only ½ of a ½ order) because there are times when I need to be bad… so I can get into the heads of my villains.
5. Great ideas – not Viking historicals.
6. Writer friends – who get why I’m doing this in the first place.
7. Great writers – whose books I can read to inspire me to greater heights.
8. Bad Bestselling Books – so I can remind myself that if “that” book can hit a bestseller list I might be able to one day.
9. Rejections – because I need to be humbled so I will work harder to get better.
10. And someday… A writer retreat beach house that will be a concrete representation of all the blood, sweat and tears I put into this darn thing…

That’s my list. What’s yours?

7 comments:

Molly O'Keefe said...

I love lists! Here goes:
Coffee - lots of it. I'm not kidding. I don't know what I'd do with out it.

Beer - don't need it as much as coffee, but when I do -- I really do.

My daughter to continue being a total sleep hog.

My husband to continue being generous on the weekends when it comes to time to write.

Walks with nothing to do but push a stroller and try and figure out why the book isn't working

Critique partners - because when things aren't working, five heads are better than one

DWT - because sometimes you want to be drunk and catty and sad and awful and angry and confused about this business and you need friends who understand and love booze.

Good TV and my keeper shelf - because nothing makes me happier, nothing inspires me more, nothing else reminds me that good storytelling is the most exciting thing ever.

Sinead M said...

I also love lists.

Mine are similar to Molly's, coffee, lots of it, and cider, or wine.
DWT and critique partners, my newborn to sleep, (anyone who says they sleep all the time lies)

Inspiration, sometimes all I need is one interesting concept in a so so movie.


And at the top of my list, Sleep, see newborn above...

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, I like Molly's list.

I wish I'd thought of mine before reading hers, because it'll all be copying (other than the daughter sleeping and the generous husband parts).

I need coffee, for sure.
I need DWT for sure.
I need good writer friends to pull me down from the too many ledges I seem to put myself on.
I need good TV for inspiration.
I need bad TV to let my brain stand down.
I used to say I needed exercise and actually, I think that's a problem right now. Not enough exercise.

Stephanie Doyle said...

All good lists...

I forgot coffee - but mine is a skinny carmel latte.

Also - not to be cheesy - this blog. Because it makes me think about writing at least once a day. And I think that's good conditioning.

Sinead M said...

Stephanie, what's wrong with the Viking historical?

I know not the standard time frame, but still, lots of room for great conflict and it would be something different.

I know I'm betraying your list, but it sounds like something I'd like to read

Eileen said...

Stephanie, I was going to make a funny about backing away from the Vikings and no one getting hurt, but I'm reconsidering. Maybe you would start the wave of Viking-mania.

Now . . . my list . . .

1. Coffee. Sorry to copy Molly here, but I need it and in just the appropriate amounts. Not too much. Not too little. One non-fat latte in the morning and occasionally (not too often or my tolerance goes up and the I need that one, too).

2. Enough sleep. My brain gets hurty without it.

3. Exercise. First of all, it helps me sleep (see above). Second, an awful lot of plot problems get solved in the endorphin cloud as Meatloaf screams about being a Bat out of Hell in my ear.

4. Writer friends. Oh, yes. I need 'em bad. I need 'em on line. I need 'em on blog. I need 'em to bicycle with me on Sunday mornings. They're funny and smart and a little crazy. They understand my pain and my joys. They also drink with me.

5. Non-writer friends. They often have areas of expertise that I can tap and seem to be kind of thrilled to help out in the creative process. They also drink with me.

6. To have fallen in love with my hero and want to be my heroine's BFF. Nothing makes me want to write their story more than hearting them both big time.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Sinead and Eileen... see what you're doing there is giving me encouragement. What the hell!!!

Just kidding.

I'm going to toy w/ it. On one side there were some editors interested in the colonial I wrote. I just didn't deliver a big enough book. Next time who knows...

Frankly I'm glad to be under contract writing for HQ. No temptations now to stray into any other areas. Just work and deadlines ahead.

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