Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blog Chain: A Time and a Place

So it's my turn to start the blog chain and between the recent Thanksgiving holiday and work, and obligations with friends, I've been so busy I feel like I barely have time for my writing, much less tweeting and blogging.

Then my laptop broke down on Thanksgiving Day. I freaked out at first, but and it gave me the opportunity to write something new on my wip for the first time in over a week. Without the distractions of the internet and blogging, or even an open Word file, I was able to get a lot of headway on my wip. In fact, it took me in a direction I hadn't thought of before, and probably all because I didn't have the distraction of my computer. And yes, I resisted the allure of the cable box, as well. :)



So here's my topic: What conditions do you need to get your best writing done? Closed door, crowded coffee house? Computer or notebook? Can you just sit down to write, or do you need to wait for the time to be right?

For me, I need quiet. Preferably in my chair at my desk, but I can't always make the words flow like I can when I write longhand in my notebook. Writing it out like that just helps me get the creative juices flowing better tan typing. I guess I just need to be able to daydream comfortably with a notebook. I'd probably frighten the people in the coffeehouse with all the faces and weird gestures and staring off into space that I do. :)

I'll usually wind up with thousands of words to transcribe if it's a productive session, but if you must know, I get my best results with this method in the bathtub. ;) Sometimes I change a word here or there as I type, but it seems to be the surefire way to get me past a word-block.

Shaun will post here tomorrow, so check it out!


What about the rest of y'all? Does your world come to a screeching halt when your laptop breaks down? Do you have a surefire way to get the words flowing? Or do you just need to set your butt in your chair? I'd love to know!

13 comments:

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I've never tried to write in the bathtub, but it is a good place to let your thoughts wander. That's an important part of writing too.

Emy Shin said...

My productivity does increase when writing on paper -- however, I'm a slow handwriter, so it often takes me forever. And my writing just reads smoother typed than handwritten. But it's definitely a good way for me to get past a block.

Matthew MacNish said...

I can't really draft on a laptop. I'll give a more detailed answer when my turn in the chain comes up. Thanks, Tere!

Susan R. Mills said...

My computer went out over the summer, and yes, my world came to a screeching a halt. I lost the project I was working on. The good news, though, was that it forced me to start all over, and I'm so glad I did. It's so much better.

Karen Denise said...

I used to write long hand when I had no other choice--meaning I was working in a prison and couldn't smuggle in a laptop! But I find my brain moves faster than my hand and that makes for the WORST handwritting in the world! I will, however, take notes, or jot down titles, character traits, or bits of dialogue that I don't want to forget.

As for coffee houses, I'm too much of a people watcher to make any progress when so many weird and facinating people are about.

My favorite writing time is first thing in the morning--this is why I can't wait until I can write full time! And with music playing. Either Pandora or a playlist. Also, I need my terrace blinds open so I can look out at the sun, rain, snow, or whatever weather pattern his happening on the otherside of my sliding doors.

JEM said...

I need quiet, closed door, with my trusty netbook. I can write in public, but I like to read my writing out loud. And it's essential with dialog. When I write pieces while in a public place I often find that I come back and rewrite them when I have a few quiet moments to myself.

Jonathon Arntson said...

I write really well on paper, but when I go to transfer the draft into my word processor, I get all freakish. I can't stand what it is that I wrote and it ends up dying on the paper.

Krispy said...

I think writing it out by hand does help with the block. I still prefer typing because I'm a way faster typer than hand-writer, but writing by hand does do a better job of keeping my internal editor quiet - probably because it's harder to revise/correct while I'm going since I usually don't have much space and I hate crossing things out.

Bathtub writing is kind of brilliant! I do often get my best ideas in the shower. But knowing me, I'd probably accidentally drop the notebook in the tub. -_-'

Anyway, sorry about your laptop! I hope everything's back in working order soon!

Margie Gelbwasser said...

Handwriting always helps me when I'm stuck. Love the bathtub idea too!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Handwriting doesn't help me much,I'm afraid. I do most of my brainstorming on the computer.

Although I do have a hand-drawn family tree for my current WIP. But I've been looking for a (free) (simple) program to transfer onto the computer!

I like quiet for my writing. I sometimes go down to the basement by myself, or in good weather, I sit by the goldfish pond under my deck.

Michelle H. said...

I've listened to music on my laptop in the tub, but never tried to write. Too many wet fingers ;)

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I have an old laptop that is super slow, so it is perfect for writing, because while I can get on the Internet - I usually get annoyed and switch back to Word and my WIP.

Pk Hrezo said...

My words tend to flow better with a notebook as well. It's so uninhibiting. I find it's great for edits as well when we retype into the computer. :)