Thursday, October 04, 2007

To write...

This week on the League of Reluctant Adults they're talking about pet peeves and writing eccentricities. It got me thinking about what I need to write, and what my pet peeves are. Um... *thinking thinking thinking*... uh.... I don't know?

Seriously, last year, when I started on WIP I got into a habit of coming home from work, turning on the fire, pouring a glass of red wine, and hammering out 2k words before JP got home from work. It was November when I started, dark by the time I got home from work. This became such a habit that I began to think this was the only way I could write. In fact, one weekend I decided to write outside and I couldn't. There was sun and light and (slight) warmth and what I was writing was dark and scary and cold (it was winter in my ms). I began to think that I couldn't write in any atmosphere except the one I'd been used to.

Then I realized this was not a good thing. I did not want to get in the habit of needing certain things to write. I didn't want it to have to be dark outside, to have to be cold, to have to be alone. To me, that led to superstitions and limitations. Because I'm an attorney (with a new job in a new practice area to boot!) I take my writing time where I can get it. Whether that be early morning, in the mountains, in a hotel room, etc.

So every time I think "oh, I prefer to write without noise" I sometimes challenge myself to write with noise. I think sometimes its easy to find obstacles to writing, and I'm trying my hardest to eliminate as many of those as possible.

That being said, what are my pet peeves and eccentricities? Once I enter my character's head, it's hard to leave. I don't like being interrupted because I'm afraid of loosing the flow of where I am. For me, interruptions are things like cats that can't settle down, people who strike up conversations (I don't mind answering a question or two, but when I'm writing I'm not prepared to set the writing aside to chat). If I have to get up to grab something, leave the room, etc., that's not a big deal. Really the only thing that stops my flow is having to leave my own head -- basically to interact with other people for more than a sentence or two. I'm not the most fun person when I'm in the middle of writing a scene :)

But at the same time, I also know when to put the writing down. When to say "scene's done, writing is over for the night" and resurface into the real world.

What about y'all, what are your writing pet peeves and eccentricities?


Spy Scribbler said...

I've finally trained DH not to get offended when I snarl at his interruptions. Thank goodness.

I'm like you; I try not to link a certain ritual with producing, because, like you said, what if it's taken away? But I have them ... I just don't acknowledge them. :-)

Carrie Ryan said...

Ha! That's exactly right! I have the rituals too, I just try not to acknowledge them :) I remember Suz Brockmann talking about how you can train yourself to write by setting up rituals. She makes tons of sense, but I don't want to be like the football player who can't wash his socks because he's afraid it will cause him to lose the game... and I know that's what would happen :)

Erica Ridley said...

I did not want to get in the habit of needing certain things to write.

This is so true. I get this way, too, with needing it to be morning (too tired at night) needing it to be noise-free (too distracting otherwise) and needing my trusty laptop (writing by hand is so slooooow).

But once in a while I'll meet people at Borders and rediscover writing with background noise is totally possible, or lug a spiral notebook to a doctor's appointment where there's both noise and a pen instead of a keyboard, etc.

The first method is still my preferred method, but I totally get you re: forcing yourself to branch out so you don't put up a self-made block.

Anonymous said...

Erica -- I think that's a great way to think about it. We all have *preferred* methods, but try not to have "the only way" methods. I don't like to hand write because it's too slow, but I'm sure I could if I had to (and I hand write edits on the hard copy draft, so I know I can do it).

lacey kaye said...

This blog is exactly perfect! I should try your challenge method and branch out more, irritate my own peeves.