On Inkspot we’ve talked a bit about where we write, about our different offices, writing areas and techniques for buckling down and avoiding distraction. Despite my luck at having a rather large and cushy office, I tend to wander away from home to write whenever possible. I mix it up – one of the three public libraries, the University library, various coffee shops around town, and in warm weather I spend hours in parks and picnic areas around – and outside of – town.
On one hand, I’m avoiding yard work, housework, errands, phone calls, people dropping by because they don’t think I have a job, workmen, Internet surfing, social media, cleaning closets, looking to see if anything interesting has materialized in the refrigerator, etc. You know: life.
On the other hand, I’m seeking quiet, inspiration, chunks of uninterrupted time, beauty, solitude – or being around people but not having to talk to them – sunshine, a work mindset (particular to college libraries) and regular doses of caffeine.
However, there are two times when I’m forced to hunker down in my own home in order to get the job done. The first is when I’m plotting and developing new characters for an upcoming WIP. The second is the final rewrite/edit at the end of the process.
‘Cuz I talk to myself. Seriously talk to myself. I mutter at characters. I ask them questions. I ask myself questions. I answer myself. Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the joke. And yes, I
might very well go slightly insane at these times.
But wait. There’s more.
I walk while I talk. I pace and stride and shuffle back and forth in my office, and sometimes all over the house. And into the backyard. Still muttering. This is not the kind of thing which one should do in public, not even in a park. Even the cadre of homeless guys at the downtown public library would look at me funny.
But for me, it works. Starting with writing college papers in the middle of the night and continuing right through preparing presentations in the corporate world, walking-and-talking has been part of
my creative process how I get things done.
So be it.
How ‘bout you? Do you have any particular writing quirks? How about reading quirks (e.g. I used read paperbacks on my three-mile morning walks)?