Friday, May 07, 2010

Necessary writing conditions

There are certain things I need in place to really be able to write well. Some of these are lifestyle, and some are specific to me sitting down at the computer.

1) Coffee. I'm addicted. Completely. And I'm at peace with this. But the morning coffee is what gets my brain working.

2) An hour. A solid hour, or the expectation of it, of peace and relative quiet. I know some writers who can do amazing things in twenty minute spurts, I think Molly is one of these. It takes me twenty minutes to really get my head in the story and get words on the page and from there, I can get some pages down.

3) Exercise. I know, and this is not a preachy, we should all work out blog post. For me, at least twice a week doing something seriously physical gets my head working. I don't know why, but I know on the weeks when I manage to do this, I write better. And I suppose it's another way to guilt myself into the gym, which is never a bad thing.

4) Tv and movies in moderation, and sadly, not reality Tv. Watching something brilliant can make me strive to write better and watching something mediocre can usually get me thinking about where they failed and how I can avoid doing so.

5) My critique group. I haven't written something in a long time without them and they are the ones who confirm, usually what I already know deep down, whether something is working or not. And more importantly, they keep me from being lazy.

6) A child NOT screaming in the background. Which is what is happening now, so I have to end this blog.

But don't forget, season 4 of Friday Night Lights is tonight. Watch, if just to see the best, most realistic, healthiest marriage on TV, but there is so much more to this show.


Molly O'Keefe said...

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!!!!! CRAP!! I'm in the States!!!!!

Sinead - do you realize how telling your blogposts are? They are the true inside look of a three kid stay at home mom. I love it.

next week - friday - we'll commiserate!

Maureen McGowan said...

I'm excited about FNL, too.

I need the promise of a chunk of uninterrupted time, too. And because I'm spoiled, I need more than an hour. Not that I can't get stuff done in an hour, just that I have trouble calming down enough to start if I don't have at least that much stretching ahead of me.

And buckets of coffee.

Oh, and Molly, I'm pretty sure ABC (or whatever network it is) is showing it tonight, too. I think the promo ad I saw was on a US network, not Global.)

Eileen said...

Lemon drops. I need lemon drops to write. It's possible to substitute Countrytime Lemonade candies and/or sour Jolly Ranchers, but the writing will suffer.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Sinead - I'm with you. I need an hour. And even when I'm "pushing it" I'm usually only good for 2 hours. Anything beyond that and I'm spent.

And I need quiet lay around in bed time just thinking about stuff... my problem is more and more if I don't take notes during this period - I forget all the good stuff I came up with.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Lemon drops? Really...I think that's perfect. I am going to steal that.

Maureen and I met for a writing date a while ago and the coffee shop we were going meet at didn't open until later than we thought, so we had about an hour, a little more. And after an hour, I shut down my computer and got ready to go - I had done what I needed to do - and Maureen was just getting started. I've got the hour long writing thing down - but give me unlimited time and I'm a disaster, shakey and nervous, stressed out. Not pretty.

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