Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What do you do when you write?

I want to know what you all do when you sit in front of the computer, typing as though your lives depended on it. Do you munch on crisps or suck on boiled lollies, is there an endless cup of coffee at your side? Do you listen to music or do you need absolute silence?

Me? I listen to my ipod to shut out the noise of the kids and the husband, I generally don't eat at the comp, although sometimes I have Minties. Coffee is an absolute must ... not after dinner though, otherwise I can't sleep. I have my dictionary, thesaurus and phrase book within reaching distance, and I always have a pen and notebook at my fingertips for figuring out timelines, jotting down plot descrepencies and passages that I may need later on in the storyline.

What do I listen to on my ipod? It depends on the type of story I'm writing. I like Fall Out Boy, 30 Seconds to Mars and Evenessence ... I also have a lot of showtunes from Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar and other Andrew Lloyd Webster musicals. I listen to lots of 80's stuff, too.

Now, it's your turn.



Kathleen said...

I like quiet and coffee -- lots of coffee. Licorice is good too.

Kathleen O'Connor

Cindy K. Green said...

I love music when I write. Maybe a little Coldplay, Lifehouse, Josh Groban, some show tunes. All kinds. Sometimes I make specific playlists for the book I'm working on. Food and drink-wise--Not necessary. I just must be satisfied or I can't work. LOL! I work on a laptop so I move around: the bed, my desk, the couch, the dining room table. But I do keep my million word thesaurus with me.


Anonymous said...

First, I love your taste in music. As for what I do when I write, I also listen to my ipod and have an endless mug of coffee. I also imagine the scene as if I were watching it on the television. Then I write it out.

Sandie Hudson said...

Coffee, coffee and more coffee. Mocha have to have my mocha. I like it quiet, peace. Which is why I have to write like a bat out of hell before my hubby gets home. When he goes to bed and I have peace once again I write. But I have hot chocolate of an evening.


Mary Hawkins said...

Not sure what happened but thought I'd posted here, Kiss. When the choc-coated sultanas are gone I try nibbling on mixed dried fruit -especially when I feel guilt about all that extra weight on me!
And I really like to write in silence and without interruptions - yeah, like I get that very often for any length of time!
Mary H

Louise said...

No music, no people, no food, no phone - just total solitude. I'm one of those people that just needs to get out of this world in my mind..I need to "transplant" myself into 19thC England and I can't do that with the Tim Tams on the desk, the phone ringing and music pumping.

Amber Leigh Williams said...

I have lots of silly habits while I'm writing. When I get going really well, I tend to curl my legs into the chair and I don't realize I've done this til an hour or so later when they're cramping up and I have a horrible ache in my shoulders. No coffee for me, but I usually have a snack (Doritos chips, because I'm such a health nut...NOT) and flavored Propel water is a must. When things aren't going well, I take my frustration out by smacking ruity gum and blowing bubbles at the screen. I listen to music too, genre depending on what I'm writing. Like for my historical revision I played the soundtracks to Pride and Prejudice and Atonement. Now that I'm writing my suspense and promoting another, I'm listening to more heavy stuff. Research books and little noties are scattered all across my desk. One thing I can never find when I need it? A pen...

Amber Leigh Williams
FOX & HOUND, "Outstanding Read"
DENIED ORIGIN, "Highly-Charged, Danger-filled"
BLACKEST HEART, Travel Back to Wayback Soon!

Regina Carlysle said...

Coffee and more coffee!!! I usually have a bag of mints sitting around here somewhere and the NEWS is normally on in the background. If I'm in the mood for music, it's usually nature stuff...waterfalls, rain or waves on the beach kind of stuff. I like to call it my pinging and ponging music.

Helen Hardt said...

I rarely eat or listen to music when I write. But I gotta have the coffee! Hot tea is good, too, especially during the winter.

Yvonne Lindsay said...

I used to try silence but with #1 child now at Uni and home in between lectures, and shift working dh loitering about the place, silence is a luxury so I usually have my iPod earbuds in. Funny thing is, sometimes I forget to turn on the music--just having the earbuds in seems to switch me into writing mode. Music wise, I find Phil Collins' Greatest Hits really good for zoning out, as well as Gregorian Chant Vol II, and Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Il Divo. With the latter I think it helps me into my ms because of the passion in the voices of the singers and the fact its in another language. Nothing to distract.

I'm considering Noise Cancelling Headphones at the moment though, as I'm finding most things distract me from my back to back deadlines. Food wise, I generally try not to eat while I'm working but I'll usually have a couple of water bottles handy and up to two coffees during my working time.

Other things that keep me in the zone are a small desktop water fountain, which is excellent for staring at when the words wont come, and an oil burner with whichever oils appeal to me on the day slowly infusing the air around me. Oh, and my door closed. Absolutely vital. Separates my mind from the outside world and responsibilities :-)

Kiki said...

I don't do the bulk of my writing on the computer, so when I sit there, it's either editing, or, more often, typing up things.
I have a *very* short attention span, so I do other things in between. But I don't usually listen to music when I write or edit. It makes my brain shut down a little bit, making it harder to focus.

I always have tea, usually chai or macha in winter, fruit or mint in the summer.

Kirralee Schmidt said...

I usually write at the end of the day since I work 8:30 to 5:30. I live alone (thank God) so I generally eat my dinner at my desk. I don't keep a thesaurus or dictionery on my desk (I rely on the computer for that) but I do keep a baby names book close by for naming my characters.

Must be absolute silence. Any noise is a distraction for me - my mind is like a 6 year old (I get easily distracted).

I'm not a coffee drinker, so in the evening I drink wine or softdrink or a Mizone then a camomile/hot chocolate and a chocie bikki for later. :)

Kirralee Schmidt

Tina C said...

Hey Kiss


Generally by the time I sit down, hubby has the nice oil burner going, and the study smells nice. I clear my email box, then open my word processing document. Its like - zap, it's work time.

Hubby delivers the water none stop if he is home, or I drink coke zero's all the time! I know I know, but since I don't drink or smoke - I have to have at least one bad vice other than sex!

Generally try hard not to snack... don't win the battle too often and anything in the kitchen is fair game!

Music - if DH is home, whatever he is playing, although sometimes I do put on the headphones because I reallllly hate some of his music (like Kate Bush), but otherwise just something soothing, alternate folk, country. Anything without loads of head banging lyrics and crashing guitars.

Yvonne - if you are in the market for noise cancelling head phone - I highly recommend the bosse ones. They are fantastic - and they come with a spare set of batteries, so if you are on long haul, you just change them, and carryon in your own world.

Ok - back to editing now for BIAW.

Bye 4 now

Eleni Konstantine said...

I have no set routine - other than having water with me at all times. I sometimes listen to music, sometimes I don't. I sometimes need the snacks, sometimes I don't (i really don't need the extra calories!). I usually can work with noise around me but on the rare occassion have to absolute silence. I try to be aware of my posture but I find that I curl one leg up on occassion without me realising. That's when I'm really getting involved in the story. I now have an eee-PC so I can move around the place instead of being in the study.
E :)

Amanda Reynolds-Smith said...

*laugh* love reading what everyone does!!

I can't write with noise in my ears (other than that which I cannot erase!!!) so I can't do the write with an ipod thing etc... I love having a good hot chocolate (can't drink coffee past 2pm or no sleep for me!)... and need water (although really pad with that)...

I too have a book beside me that is devoted to my story so I can jot bits and pieces as they come to mind.

I have a laptop and a PC... I usually write when everyone is in bed on the laptop (it also is not connected to the GREATEST procrastination tool for me - the internet!)...

I like to write at night, although am usually so knackered I can't get much out!

I spend a lot of time on trains travelling to and from meetings/work so do an awful lot during that time...

Great question KC - look forward to the next thought provoker!

PS Found you on Suzanne Brandyn's blog!


Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Kiss,
Hope all is going well with you? :)
Well, I get so carried away I forget to eat. I usually work through lunch and realise by about four I've had nothing to eat... which is a no no for me. lol..

I also play mood music, depending on the scene I'm writing. Mind you not all the time. It depends if I feel my writing is flowing, if it isn't time to drag out the music..

Oh, and I did manage to eat lunch today... but that wasn't until three oclock.. must try and eat more.. and seeing I don't eat chocolate I dont munch on anything... a piece of fruit every now and again... yeah I'm boring I know. lol...

So there... my secret is out.. but I have to eat to keep the weight on... sad though when I have just found out I have high cholestrol. I don't even eat fatty food, my body makes it... lol...

I am not all good. lol.. When I feel like a cake etc... I'll have it.. I'm more of a savory person. Like on Sunday afternoon, we got out the wine, the cheese, the spanish olives, and crackers etc.. and I ate myself silly.. Yum.. Loved it.