Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Where to Write: Making It Your's

So, wherever you write, be it your office, your room, or your bathtub, you need to make it a good place to write, because there are really some bad places.

First off, you need a door, not just any door, a door you can shut. Actually, this is what writer Stephen King recommends too. In order to write you need to be able to shut out the rest of the world in order to create new ones. You need to be able to cut out distractions, because, let's face it, writers are easily distracted. Another great thing about doors is that they don't just keep people out, they keep you in. And it's bad if you leave your writing space because you're going to get distracted, and you won't write anything. So, step 1, close your door, it's no use to you writing if you leave it open.

Now, get comfortable, you want to spend a lot of time in this place, right? This is another clever ploy to keep you from leaving, but it also makes you more at ease to write. So, make sure your chair is comfortable, and if you're not in your chair (in your closet?) maybe bring a pillow or a few blankets. Write in your pjs if you have to*. And bring snacks, something to munch on while you chew on new ideas, and keep something to drink on hand of coarse too. Something that will help you write, most writers suggest tea, but I'm nothing without a Coke (I'm a serious caffine addict).

Make the environment a writing environment (so not too comfy). Keep paper and all different kinds and colors of writing utensils on hand because sometimes things are easier to figure out on paper than on screen. Keep sticky notes nearby--making notes is never a bad thing. Make reminders for yourself that will make you want to write, or can help you encourage you to write when you get stuck**.

Keep it your writing space. Don't make it the same as your goof-off space.

Finally, to make it wholly your writing space: go write there. Now's a good time, isn't it?

*Some writers will not write in their PJs because it inclines them to want to sleep or goof off. Some actually get up, shower, eat breakfast, dress for work, just like they would any other job, except that they go into the next room instead of some big building downtown. It helps put them in the mood to write because they then feel like they need to work. Try this is the comfy approach doesn't work well.
**I have things like pictures of my characters, notes of encouragement (the whole series of Pamela Johnson advice posts from Anita Loughrey's blog, notes, and even a family tree to remind me how different characters are related. And notes like "make a map!" and "act it out!" help when I get stuck.

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