Weird Writing Habits

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
writersink
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Weird Writing Habits

Post by writersink » June 14th, 2012, 8:31 am

So I was trawling through the previous threads, and I realised something very important. We all have very nice (in a couple of cases strange) places where we are most productive. It becomes a habit.

I saw that some people have really weird writing schedules, but even with a weird writing schedule I can only write at a specific time. During the middle of the day for short stories (which is why I don't write much) and in the evening for my WIP. I could try writing in the morning, but then it wouldn't feel "proper", like I was making dodgy words appear, rather than something I could be reasonably happy with. But then I can't write too late at night, because then I'll feel like I'm not paying it enough attention because I'm too tired. (And, of course, if I break this habit the world will come to an end e.t.c, e.t.c , so there is absolutely no way I can break it.)

Does anyone else have a specific writing habit? Like you can only write with coffee beside you, not water, because then your characters will turn out 2D. (Okay, not that weird.) (Scrap that, writers are weird creatures anyway.)

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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by Mark.W.Carson » June 14th, 2012, 9:27 am

I write best after a good lunch.

Which sucks, because I can only do that on days I am home. I can seriously bang out like 2 or 3, sometimes more, good base chapters that way. They still need polish, but they are drafts, so whatever.

Occasionally, if I manage an evening when I am not too tired, or distracted, I can do the same, but during the day, I have so few distractions that it just flows.

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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by Sommer Leigh » June 14th, 2012, 9:57 am

I don't know that my writing habits are that weird. I have habits though.

I do a lot of my writing at a coffee shop, which isn't weird itself, but my seating habits are. I have a specific seat I have to have. When I try to explain to people why I need that seat, I end up sounding like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. It's a booth seat by itself, so - comfort first, not having to share a space with someone else is optimal. It's up against a window that looks out on the majority of the parking lot and in the afternoon the sun is on the other side of the building so I'm not blinded but I have plenty of light still. The door is behind me around the corner which means no unwanted drafts, and no air conditioning fan above me. The counter is on the other side of the bookshelf behind me, so the noise from people in line isn't distracting. So I get the most amount of work done when I sit there.

I have an alternate seat if that one is taken. It's not nearly as well lit and I spend most of the time stalking the person in my spot for tell-tale signs they are wrapping up their work so I can swoop in and steal my chair back. I get some work done, but not as much. If both seats are taken, I generally just go home.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by Mark.W.Carson » June 14th, 2012, 10:45 am

::knock knock knock:: Summer... ::knock knock knock:: Summer...
Last edited by Mark.W.Carson on June 14th, 2012, 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by Claudie » June 14th, 2012, 12:04 pm

Oh that SO sounds lke Sheldon, Sommer. Hilarious.

I can honestly write anywhere, anytime, in any position. I can write in silence or with music and noise (if I can hear the conversations though I'll get distracted, especially since it means listening to people speak in French and writing in English. Fries my brain). I do have preferences though. I'll always have the same music in the background, and I love to have something to drink at my side, most often coffee. Right now I switched "drink" with cat. So when I stop to think about what'S nex, I pet my kitty instead of caffeinating my body. XD
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by dios4vida » June 14th, 2012, 1:15 pm

mark54g wrote:::knock knock knock:: Summer... ::knock knock knock Summer...
HAHAHA!! I was thinking that, too. Sommer, I totally understand why you've chosen that seat but I heard Sheldon's voice in my head instead of yours.

My biggest weird writing habit is that I can't write if my house is really dirty. It might be because I'm a housewife and a perfectionist bordering on neat freak, but if the kitchen's piled with dishes (especially the kitchen, but other things like bathrooms, floors, etc.) I just cannot write. My brain will focus on the housework so I can't focus. I have to go clean it before I can get anything written.

Oh, I also have something I call my "thinking stick". It's about 24 inches long, 1/4 inch thick, that was stripped smooth of bark in a creek that my family vacations at. It's curved slightly in the middle so it twirls really well. I rub it and spin it between my hands when I'm working through brainstorming issues. I guess the kinesthetic thing helps me think through problems.

Other than that, my quirks are of the normal writer flavor. I'm a morning writer, I can hardly ever get anything productive done after 2pm. I write best at my desk, with movies I have memorized playing quietly in the background, but I don't have to have it like that. I can't write with other people around (except my husband). I can't do the "write every day" thing because after three or four productive days in a row my brain fritzes out and a need a day or two or relax and get the creative juices flowing again (as my Mum says).

I'm sure I have more, but those are the only ones I can think of at the moment.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by CharleeVale » June 14th, 2012, 4:11 pm

I have discovered my habits!

I am most productive: Between 10 PM and 2 AM, when I am sitting up at a table of desk of some kind, I must have tea, and I must have my WIP playlist going in the background.

I can get some work done in the afternoon, but not as much. Right now I'm at a coffeeshop sort of thing, but I find myself very distracted by the interwebs (Hence posting here). I may have to give Mac freedom a try. :P

CV

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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by polymath » June 14th, 2012, 4:48 pm

I don't think of my writing eccentricities as weird habits. They are influential. Time and place don't matter to me. Being able to write even when I don't feel like it is a useful time for those excruciating yet marvelous writing development practices like preplanning, rewriting, and revision. Best yet, rethinking a clumsy or awkward passage. Research is another habit. If something feels off. I ask why. If I can't come up with a satisfying answer, I dig into the books: writing books, style manuals, grammar handbooks, fiction, creative nonfiction, scrutinize a screenplay, even commercials. Time and effort, thought exercises, usually (always) give me a useful answer, eventually.
Spread the love of written word.

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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by Amanda Elizabeth » June 14th, 2012, 6:04 pm

I can only write in the middle of the night in total darkness. Sometimes I will play background music like Alexander Desplat and Carter Burwell, but I often write in silence.

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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by Aimée » June 14th, 2012, 6:15 pm

I have written all of my best short stories in the dead of night. I'm talking like 2-4 in the morning. It's not a habit, though; I doesn't NEED to be that time for me to write short stories, it just so happens that all the really good ones that I love are ones that spawned out of semi-consciousness. An idea for a short story strikes me at the stroke of midnight, and I get it all out in one sitting, getting perhaps three hours of sleep, though I find it impossible to sleep until I'm finished.

I've been getting more writing habits recently. I say "more" rather than "better," but really, it feels better, since I'm writing a much greater quantity and more often. I've found the coffee shop too, like Sommer, to be one of the best places to write. I feel like that is probably a bad habit for me, though, because I really can't afford to buy a coffee every other day... The thing I do there is DO NOT ask the barista for the internet password. This is a very good habit. Because if I ever ask for it, I will be doomed to spend more time online than actually writing. Another reason why I have trouble writing at home...

Other than that, I don't think I have any "weird" habits. Unless you call constantly and incessantly thinking about the manuscript, even when I'm not at my computer and writing, "weird." But I like to think that's just a crazy, writerly, artistic thing to do. :) Can't really help myself there to change that; it's just what my mind does. I'm constantly outlining in my head, even when I have no pen and paper. It's the most significant trait in myself for my reasoning in actually calling myself a writer: I write, even when I'm not writing.

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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by Hillsy » June 15th, 2012, 4:59 am

Weird writing habits, huh?

Well I guess they're a bit wierder than my day habits. Instead of a coarse brown burlap, their made of lambs wool and are brighter: One is cowprint and the other has got a great stencil of China Mieville on the back........
Last edited by Hillsy on June 15th, 2012, 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

writersink
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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by writersink » June 15th, 2012, 5:21 am

Amanda Elizabeth wrote:I can only write in the middle of the night in total darkness.
That is simply epic.

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dios4vida
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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by dios4vida » June 15th, 2012, 11:11 am

Hillsy wrote:Weird writing habits, huh?

Well I guess they're a bit wierder than my day habits. Instead of a coarse brown burlap, their made of lambs wool and are brighter: One is cowprint and the other has got a great stencil of Chine Mieville on the back........
:lol: Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with you... ;)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Hillsy
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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by Hillsy » June 15th, 2012, 1:20 pm

dios4vida wrote: :lol: Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with you... ;)
Pun flu..............

..............no to be confused with Pun-Fu, which I have a black belt in

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G B Miller
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Re: Weird Writing Habits

Post by G B Miller » June 17th, 2012, 5:47 pm

I need complete and utter silence when I'm writing a story, which is vastly different when I'm writing a blog post. I can write a blog post almost anywhere, because I usually use pen and paper.

I also need the door closed to my den when I'm writing too. Since I write adult oriented stuff, it's really hard to concentrate when I have family members in the room (my den is just off the family basement). If I see them, then the muse really dries up and takes a powder.

As for editing, I'll listen to almost any kind of music to keep me focused at the task at hand.
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