Friday, November 11, 2011

Talkin’ & Walkin’

Cricket McRae


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)?


Lois Winston said...

Oh, Cricket, I'm so happy to know I'm not the only crazy author who talks out loud to herself!

Darrell James said...

I can't get truly comfortable (ie: writing for extended periods) unless my feet are propped up-- on a desk, an opposing chair. Therefore, I do most of my writing in a recliner, in a near prone position with a laptop. (I do mutter aloud occassionally. I suspect we're all nuts.)

Kathleen Ernst said...

I didn't realize how much I talked to myself until my husband retired and started working at home. The scary thing is that I find myself muttering aloud even when I'm working at a coffeeshop (like I am right now).

Cricket McRae said...

Yay for crazy talk, Lois!

Darrell, I'm five feet tall, which makes it hard to find good ergonomics out and about, so when I'm not wandering around talking to myself my feet are usually up, too.

Kathleen, I caught myself muttering in the grocery store the other day. Embarrassing!

John Paul McKinney said...

Cricket, If I mutter at my characters they often mutter back. That's when I know things are moving ahead. Happens when I wake up in the middle of the night and look around for a piece of paper. Seems I mutter at them in my sleep.

P.I. Barrington said...

I just mutter cause I'm nuts. However, my family points and laughs uproariously and mocks me when for no reason at all, I stare at my computer hold up a palm and say "Hold on," when no one is talking to me and I'm not talking to anyone. It's like a weird verbal twitch that I use to take stock of what's happening when I type. Once in a while I have to get up from the computer, put it into "Sleep" or "Hibernate" mode and go into another room and blast music and concentrate only on that for an hour or two. Then I return to the LED-eyed monster and dive back into the novel.