Challenge #6: Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol’ pen and paper?
I will write anywhere and any time inspiration strikes. I have dozens of notebooks with disorganized thought-blurbs littering the page in pen, pencil, crayon, and highlighter. I’ve scribbled notes and outlines on sermon bulletins, receipt paper, napkins, and in rare and desperate cases, bank deposit envelopes.
I am most comfortable writing in a quiet, secluded spot where no noises can lay siege to the ideas that come flowing out of my brain. Music and chatter are all very well for beginning a thought process, but while I’m transferring it to readable print I need stillness.
Because of this need I’ve grown used to writing through witching hours–between 12 and 4 in the morning–when the tots are all abed. However, work has made a respectable woman out of me (sort of) and since I have to sleep much earlier in the evening, writing sprees occur anytime I have time. Usually late afternoon or the wee mornin’ moments before work, if I have a spare half hour or so.
The majority of my writing happens right on the Word document. Typing speed is ideal for getting ideas onto a page before they’ve slipped my mind. However, there’s nothing quite like the feel of lined notebook paper smooth and cold under your hand. I love wooden pencils because chewing on them gets the creativity flowing and tastes delightful. I’ve discovered (to my immense horror) that pencil rubs out after a couple years, and ballpoint pens are therefore best for preserving notes. I like the cheap ones that come a dime a dozen.
I know Starbucks is a hot spot for writer types like me and I want to try it out someday. I have not yet because I’m afraid I’ll be distracted every time the door opens. I’d wonder too much about the people, the associates… any good conversations would take away from my writing. I’ve tried writing at Panera a few hours before my shift started, but unless I can steal a corner booth I’m too worried people can see what I’m doing.
If there’s anything that will disrupt my writing flow it’s peekers. I cannot stand people seeing a project in the works. Beta aside. The most frustrating thing in the world is someone peering over your shoulder saying, “Oh, what are you writing?”
Reaching these conclusions, I looked in on them, casually as
it might be, in the servants’ hall, and, finding tea going forward,
instantly invited myself to that meal. (For, NOTA BENE, a drop of tea is
to a woman’s tongue what a drop of oil is to a wasting lamp.)
My reliance on the tea-pot, as an ally, did not go unrewarded. In less
than half an hour I knew as much as the Sergeant himself.
-The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Victorians knew how to write. If you ever want to be astounded by perfect word choice and delicious similes, grab a book written prior to the 1900′s. There’s nothing like it. It takes me far too long to read such a book (I’ve been working on The Moonstone for months) but savoring is not a bad thing.
I’m ashamed to say I cheated and watched the film to The Moonstone before I was quite finished with the book, but the book is exceeding expectations in every way.
Here is what made me a Wilkie Collins fan in the first place. Certainly holds a place in my top five favourite books. Similar to The Scarlet Pimpernel in that it has a little bit of every genre: tragedy, romance, mystery, satire, drama, history. Oh, how I love it! I wish to read it again. And then immerse myself in the little-known musical version by Andrew Lloyd Webber. If that intrigues you, I demand you enjoy full length conversations that are entirely sung.
I make no demands on reading/hearing book or musical first. Usually I’d cry, “Read the book! Read the book!” but the entire story is there in the soundtrack, so if you fancy a late night scare, pop in some earphones and listen on through!
Though I must warn you that the musical is very different from the book in many ways so don’t expect to get the same thing from both. Whichever you choose first, you must do both you know.
And if a certain commenter of mine enjoyed “I’ll Be There” for its belting-into-crowds line, she will love the musical dialogue from Woman in White.