When & Where do you Write?

When & Where do you Write?

 

Write.

The more I read and talk to other writers, the more I realize the answer to these two questions can be as diverse as the writer.

There are no set rules, no hidden formula to a productive writing time. Each author has their own recipe for success. And even then, it’s not written in stone.

I know some writers who insist early in the morning is the best time for them; they’ve had a good night’s sleep and are fresh to face that blank piece of paper/screen.

Others do best later in the day, when all their chores and responsibilities are out of the way, and the family is off doing their daily routine (school, work, etc.).

Then there are the night owls. They insist  they do their best work late at night when there are no distractions and they can concentrate on their work in progress.

 

Writer.

Personally, I’m all over the place. There are so many factors that can affect when I write. If I’m in my creative stage, late at night is my time. I collect all the thoughts that have been spinning around in my head during the day and put them into a solid idea and expand on it.

If I’m at my editing stage, or trying to work through a weak spot or solve a problem I’ve created, then morning is best. My mind is clear and I can focus. But it needs to be earlier while I have the house to myself.

Research and planning are best for the middle of the afternoon. I can sit at my desk and distractions don’t seem to bother me. It’s easy to break away from the work in front of me to watch the birds outside my window or talk to my hubby when he comes out to ask me a question.

 Of course these are not set rules. As every writer knows, when the idea for your storyline is new, there is an excitement that goes along with it. There is a hunger to get the ideas down as fast as possible so  you don’t lose them. You may find yourself shutting yourself in your office, blocking out everything else, for hours at a time. Eventually the newness of the idea becomes a solid outline, and then a rough draft. This is when you begin your writing routine.

Does part of this routine include a designated location where you work from?

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Mine is where-ever. That’s it; where-ever. I do a lot of dictations and as long as I have my phone with me, I’m good to go. Some of my most productive time is at lunch when I’m in my car, sitting along the river. No distractions, no interruption-just writing time (in between bites of my lunch). Having a laptop allows me to take my WIP where I want; be it under the oak tree in the front yard, by the pool or sitting by the hubby on the couch (ear plugs needed for this one since the TV is on). Serious editing needs to be done at my desk. I seem to do better in a more professional setting for the editing stage.

Every writer has to find what works for them. It may take a few books before you find your rhythm. But I think  mixing it up every once in a while, also stirs the creative juices and keeps you from becoming stagnate.

So move around, find your sweet spot, find your creative and productive times, and get to work on your next project.

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It’s a part of me…

Darn it!
The old steam locomotive
Even though I tried a new route, hoping to avoid the train this morning, I still got caught.
I sit here, watching the train go by and admire the graffiti written across the cars by some enterprising youth. I wonder where each rail car with came from, and where it was doing, what cargo it just might hold (obviously it was a long train). The last car goes by and the gates go up with a clamoring of bells and flashing lights. I realized trying to avoid  trains is impossible for me.
My reflections have led me to realize that my life has always had trains in it in, one form or another.
When I was a little girl, my father and grandfather both worked on the railroad. I can even remember my father bringing home a dog one night that had been abandoned along the railroad tracks (my mother was not pleased over that one!).
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I have other memories of the railroad. From the sound of a wheels on the rails or the howling of the whistle, trains have always been in my life. Even as adult. My first apartment  was within hearing sound of the railroad and every house after that, we were near a track or we had to wait for the train.  I could always hear the railroad in the background of my busy day.
When I think about it,  the railroad has always been part of me, either waiting for it or listening for it, it’s always there. It’s rather comforting to have something so consistent in your life, something that’s part of your past–part of the history of our country and part of the history of my family.
The old steam locomotive
So the next train that I have to wait for I won’t sit and drum my fingers on the wheel. Instead, I’ll sit and remember with fondness how the railroad impacted my memories.
And if the train is long enough, maybe I’ll even jot down some notes for my next blog!

Things have sure changed!

When I was a little girl I had three women that I admired. They were all fictional characters, but I thought they were awesome. I wanted to grow up to be just like them.
The first one was going to be pretty impossible; Wonder Woman’s a hard act to follow and I knew I wasn’t up to the task. Of course in my own way I guess I could claim to be a wonder woman-I’m a mom with a career and a home to run. (Okay, maybe not  that sexy outfit, but I would love those great golden bracelets.)
But the other two characters that I loved were a bit more  realistic, and I let myself dream of the possiblilites…
The first was Nancy Drew. She was my hero when I was younger. She was the cool girl; she had best friends that stuck by her side,  a gorgeous boyfriend and she solved mysteries. Her dad was pretty cool, too. What more could a young preteen hope to be when she grew up?
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But, as I grew older, I realized Nancy Drew never  grew older college age.   I began to dream about what kind of job/career I wanted, so I set my sights on Brenda Starr— investigator reporter. With her gorgeous red hair and trench coat, she was an inspiration. I can remember walking around with a pen and paper pretending to take interviews– the same way that I used to look for clues when I pretended to be Nancy Drew.
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Recently I was asked to give an interview about my writing and it brought back thoughts of my earlier aspirations. But there was no one coming to my door to ask questions, no microphone put in front of me, and there was no cameras snapping pictures. Instead my interview was done on-line, in a new age of investigative reporting.
I was sent a series of questions and it was up to me to answer them how I wanted. It was up to me to make sure that they said exactly what I wanted; with correct spelling and grammar.  Gone was my vision of a star reporter with a microphone and trench coat. Instead I stared at my monitor and wrote my own answers.
And this gave me control over what I said. A big plus is you can think about your answers, you can go back and change the wording. You can control the impression that you make much more than with a live interview.
I think some of the questions were a little bit more intense than a casual interview as well.  Over 200 questions were sent and I had to pick 20 of them to answer. This turned out to be fun, and it really made me think about my answers. Some of the questions were nothing like what I would have expected.
 I’ve included the link to the interview below, for you to read.
 
So now  I can see that my heroes and aspirations as a young girl had to change with the times.  I no longer wish to be Nancy Drew or Brenda Starr, but I still think it’d be pretty cool to be Wonder Woman.

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