1. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    Writing habits

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by nippy818, Aug 29, 2015.

    How does everyone prep themselves to write, and how often do you write? Me, as soon as I get home from work, everyday, I take a shower and go over my current writing issues, plot, character arch, settings and any blocks I've encountered. Once I finish up and get dressed, I mix a cocktail, usually just absinthe, and grab my character, plot and general info note books (three separate notebooks) and sift though the days notes in silence. Once I go through my notes I turn on my tv to something comfortable I have seen a million times ( Either Dr. Strangelove, or Sky captain) with the volume low and get my music rolling (Hank 3, Angry Johnny, or Front line assembly, depending on the scene and chapter) I then zone out till I hit 2000 words or more if I am on a role.
     
  2. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow. You must be young to have that kind of concentration and energy.

    When I got home from work (when I was still working) I'd plop down and veg. I had to write before going to work or I got nothing done. Prep for me was a cup of coffee and several ciggies while waiting for my computer to boot. :)

    EDIT: As for listening or watching something while writing, there's no way I could ever do that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
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  3. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My 'prep' usually consists of setting myself as 'away' on Skype/Steam/etc, opening youtube with some nice and relaxing instrumental music. Then I get an overview over what I have written so far, enable Scrivener's fullscreen mode and start typing.
    As for how often, I'd have to say way too rarely and irregularly.
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I'm usually at work half an hour early (to beat the traffic) so I plug in my USB and write until I start at 8am. I sometimes write through my lunch hour as well.

    Usually on my commute I'm thinking about my book too, working out any issues I have and playing through scenes in my mind.

    When I get home I relax for a bit, have dinner, then start writing again. In the evening I download my current version onto my Kindle then read it in the bath or in bed, highlighting any bits that read awkwardly so I can edit them in the morning.

    I can't and won't sustain this forever. I did it for my first draft then shelved everything for a few months and looked it afresh. My second draft is nearly done and now I'm satisfied with it enough to go straight into editing.
     
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  5. BookLover
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    BookLover Contributing Member

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    I'm not sure how I prepare. I'm still experimenting. For a while I was writing every morning and evening at the kitchen table or in the sunroom and that seemed to be working for me, but then my job hours increased. Now everything's gone to hell.

    I haven't quite figured out what the best writing environment for me is or if there even is one. I used to think that writing in a calming, nature type setting would be best. I see these giant mansions with decks overlooking lakes and ponds, and think, "Geesh, if that was my house I would sit right there on that deck and stare out over the water as I wrote." As if having that house would make my writing better or something. :bigtongue:

    But the truth is I have this amazing sunroom. It faces a pretty field, and the weather is nice right now. I can open all the windows, feel the breeze through the sheer curtains... It's lovely and peaceful. I usually have a cat sitting on my lap while I sip green tea.

    Unfortunately, I've found that having a cat sitting on my lap and watching the trees and birds through the window doesn't quite fit with my writing, at least not while I'm trying to write hardcore sex or a murder scene. It's distracting. "The blood poured from the gaping wound as he stabbed... Aw, look how content my kitty is. Such a pretty kitty. Are the leaves falling already? I love how they spin to the ground. Wait, what was I writing? Oh, right, blood and murder."

    I find myself looking around thinking, "Well, if I was a poet or writing about nature, this might be the ideal setting but..." I'm beginning to think my sunroom might be a better place to read than to write.

    So today, I locked myself in a closet. Turned all the lights off and sat in the dark on a pillow in the corner to write. The idea was to take away all distractions and become completely lost in my story. It sort of worked...

    I don't know. I can't decide if no distractions is better or if lots of outside sensory input is better for getting into the zone. I once wrote very well in the middle of a crowded, noisy airport. People write at coffee shops all the time. Maybe there's something about tuning out the noisy world around you that helps people to focus. @nippy818 , you write with the tv and music going? What is it about all the noise that you thinks helps? Genuinely curious because I can't decide what's best for myself.

    So, in short, I have no idea how I prep.
     
  6. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    With a cup of coffee and a prayer that I'll manage more than 300 words. That's how I prep.

    Oh, and by plugging my USB of music into my CD player.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    No prep. After dinner I plop down on my bed, sit cross legged and start typing on my laptop. Occasionally I check to make sure I haven't carried off my Synonym Finder, and other books I feel like I might need for reference. They're usually stacked beside my bed. But that's it.
     
  8. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    @BookLover I use the music and Tv to get into my characters head. I am writing a noir hard boiled style in pov and my character is always two or three layers into thought, while dealing with the environment. I use the TV as the outside environment, the music is him reacting to the environment while my thoughts writing are his thoughts kind of thing. The noise also helps me break focus so I can ensure i have all the layers in any given paragraph.

    @Sack-a-Doo! I currently work 60+ hours a week as a mechanic, but i have no children and I am not married
     
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  9. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    @OurJud a prayer for 300. Even if I throw down absolute shit, I'll write 2200, even if i have to erase it. Try it sometime it helps get the creative juices moving, even if its for the next day, or on an unrelated project.
     
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  10. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't prepare myself in any way. I just sit down at the desk and take up writing where I ended last time.
     
  11. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Oh to have time and energy! If I have a few moments and it is quiet and I am awake, I tap on my keyboard until one of those things stop being true (usually I fall asleep on the keyboard or one of my kids starts kicking up a ruckus).
     
  12. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    Okay, here is a question still on topic, how many hours of writing do you put in a week and does anyone else drink while writing. I average 30 hours a week.
     
  13. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I dont really count.
    Excuse me but it sounds a little like you're trying to live up to some kind of myth about the writer, especially with the drinking part. Maybe you'd drink whether you were writing or not, What do I know, but that's what it sounds like to me.
     
  14. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    I read an article about creativity and being tired. It discussed how when your tired your frontal cortex slows down, turning the inner editor off and letting creativity flourish, thats why people feel more creative when they are tired. I use alcohol to the same effect, but I am also careful not to over drink and ruin my work. I have found that it works well for me.
     
  15. BurningPaws
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    BurningPaws Member

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    I find waking, going to the gym and wearing myself out for a good hour and half then coming home, sitting outside in a soft chair with a nice coffee will get my creative juices flowing. But I like to have a good daydream about my story for about half hour before I start writing.
     
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  16. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    That actually sounds really nice. I wish i had a nice place to write, i generally do it in my living room.
     
  17. BurningPaws
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    BurningPaws Member

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    Sometimes if its a crappy day then I will sit inside. I find that getting my body prepped for a couple hours writing is most important because I'm a very restless person. I also find mobility exercises helpful every hour or so. Using a foam roller to rub tense, un-used muscles to get the blood flowing makes you feel awake and alive again.
     
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  18. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    If I could write somewhere without internet access, my productivity would go up about 400%.
     
  19. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    There's no freaking way that I could drink absinthe, listen to Hank III, and watch Dr. Strangelove while writing. That sounds like a cocktail for disaster for someone who's easily distracted. Lol.
     
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  20. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I usually go sit at a bar while I write, so yeah, I'll have a beer or two. Any more than that and my writing's shit. The ambient hum of conversation helps me focus, and occasionally I'll meet someone interesting and take note of their personality/story for future writings.
     
  21. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    And that would be where i would get distracted. but mostly because i don't like to be around people. lol
     
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  22. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Amen to that!

    I don't write anything like 30 hrs a week, nippy818. Maybe 6 - 9 in a good week.
     
  23. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    That's where i was a few years ago and i had to force myself into the habit
     
  24. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    Before I write, I wash the dishes. If there are no dishes to clean, I take a twenty minute nap. Once I'm primed, I write.

    In a week, I write about 12 hours. The only influence I'm under while I'm writing is good ole' caffeine from the great teat of the coffee machine.
     
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  25. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    Caffeine makes my mind explode in a million directions lol hats off to you
     

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