Friday, 18 November 2011

I said this post would be awesome... *might* not be.

But I was thinking how much I love having days off to write. I work two jobs and my shifts can vary, but at the moment they are Friday - Tuesday so Wednesday and Thursday are free, and they are usually the days I knowingly and more fully dedicate time to writing. And even though these days are my own, I definitely have a programme of some kind, a routine I follow.

So because I like it when writers tell you a bit about their routine (and if you read my previous post you will know I am rehabilitating myself as a blogger) I thought I'd share my recipe for a good writing day.

1. Mario is at work/out. I can write when he is at home, but I realised a couple of years ago that I need, and like, time to myself to write, and that should only be interrupted if I interrupt it. Also, that way, if I don't do much, it's MY FAULT, no one else's.

2. I do all the boring stuff early on. Washing up, laundry, posting parcels (which I don't do a lot of, but I did today), food shopping. All done before noon, ideally.

3. Coffee in a coffee shop. I sit there with my notebook, maybe a paper, maybe a writing magazine, and if I don't write or feel like it it's okay, this part is just about being somewhere I've chosen to be on my day off and having a good coffee. Usually I write at least a list of what I want to do that day.

4. Freedom - I downloaded this programme for about £6 and it's ace. I spoke about it here. It blocks the internet - and this focuses my energy to, you know, writing. I find 2 hour chunks work well for me.


5. Ssssh. Quiet. Not like deadly silence, but I can't write with music on. I wish I could, it'd be nice to be one of those writers who gets inspired by music and tiptaps away all full of intense musicality.

6. Tea. I've had a coffee, I'd like a green tea in the afternoon, please. And a biscuit. Ta.

That's usually it, actually, but every so often...

7. I like to put on my favourite shirt. It is falling apart, I can't wear it in public, but there is something about it I love. When I'm wearing it I think I'm a bohemian painter or something.

Tell me about your recipe for writing - post in the comments below or create a post of your own and I'll link to it.


Essie Gilbey said...

Like you, I can't work with music on, but I do have an app on my phone, binaural beats, that produces background noise (thunderstorms, waves crashing, that kind of thing). When I use it I find I can write more and for longer - something about it helps me focus :-)

Teresa Stenson said...

I could maybe work with that - can imagine getting all into the thrashing of the waves, thrashing out the words. Problem with lyrics is that I listen to them, then get ponderous. And then maybe wistful, and that's never good for writing.

Sophie Playle said...

I love thsee insights into other writers' lives! Plus the photos!

Reb Alexander said...

I have to have music but it has to be a) wordless so classical and b) very familiar so it's just background. I have to be alone because I tend to read it out loud!

Rachel Fenton said...

Usually I can't write well with music on but a recent exception was a 7,000 word story inspired by the title of a Ben Howard track! Go, Ben!

Friday night, hot milk: make the to do list for Saturday, open web pages etc I might need, do a spot of blogging, hibernate the laptop.

Saturday, 7am I'm at the kitchen table (the bedroom's too hot in summer), laptop wakey and I'm immersed until my stomach complains and breakfast and dinner are the only things that interrupt my 12-16 hours. Same for Sunday. By midnight I feel ill and need the week to recover - which is handy as the kids stop me writing for more than a mere hour or two a day all week long.

I like your shirt and your writing antics - love a bit of writerly nebbing myself.

Hope that wasn't too boring :)

Teresa Stenson said...

Thanks, Sophie. Yes, photos liven any post up, don't they.

Hi Reb - I read aloud too when I'm editing, alone is good for that. Although I noticed the other day that I talk to myself a lot when I'm on my own as well, just little chats about what I'm doing, what I'll do next, asking myself for my opinion on things...

Hey Rachel - not at all boring, no - very intriguing. 12-16 hours a day - wow - no wonder you're wiped out come Sunday night! Getting yourself in the zone on Friday night is an excellent idea. Inspiring stuff.