Mostly because my mind goes off on a tangent and I start obsessing about what the odds are that the flung sheet of paper would really fall neatly on top of a pristine stack of manuscript pages. Still, you gotta wonder how other writers ... write. Do they sit on their porch that overlooks mountains and streams, gleaning inspiration from happy little critters that frolic in the grass?
I've heard different things from different writers. Clearly, we all find our inspiration in very unique ways. One can sit in Central Park and absorb the energy of a city buzzing around them while another needs absolute silence and can only free their creative juices in the most serene setting available.
My techniques are a bit back-asswards, frankly. I tend to be a multi-tasker - more able to just let the story flow when I'm talking to a friend or watching television. I've been called on maniacally typing as a conversation is going on in my ear. I think Pooh was amused to find, when I went to visit her after my layoff, that I am a hunch-over-the-keyboard-with-a-cigarette-dangling-from-my-lips kind of writer at times. I don't know, maybe the split-focus allows me to stop questioning what I'm writing, or maybe I stop worrying about grammar (sorry, Julie) and just let the story go where it may.
I'm also a notebook writer. I have my little book o'plot that I carry with me wherever I go. I can often get a lot more story bullet points organized with pen and paper than I can a Word document. Where do I do my best thinking? Outside. I like to park my butt by a river or a lake for an hour or two and just write whatever comes to mind. When I'm lucky enough to find a means to get out of town, my immediate destination is the closest beach available. I drag my little beach chair up near the shoreline and write like a maniac while the waves crash and the seagulls dive-bomb my head.
The ocean is my biggest mental diuretic(Could I have found a grosser analogy?). I'm not sure what exactly does it. Maybe it's the sea air, maybe its the complete change in environment or the steady crash of the waves, but my god - sit me on a beach and the mechanism is cleared and the pen starts flying.
The layoff has provided me with a couple opportunities to head to the Chincoteague/Assateague area. (Not exactly a financially sound move, but frankly, I don't care. I needed the beach time.) I actually prefer going out of season - in spring or fall. It's invigorating to have the sun shining and providing some warmth while a cold ocean breeze is constantly whipping around you. Granted, I'm not THAT much an advocate of non-summer visits because K and I went to Chincoteague in February and all I can say is I'm glad I'm a girl because special boy parts would have frozen right off.
I think if I could find a way to own a little cottage on an isolated stretch of beach, I would so experience a personal creative Renaissance. Hopefully Powerball will make that happen soon. *crosses fingers*
As Laurie especially knows, I also do some of my most manic work late at night. I can't crawl out of bed and hit the laptop. It just isn't in me. Mostly, it's because I am a grumpy waker, as some of the roomies from Nashville can attest to. I still hear it about my so-called morning pirate sounds. I think the chronic insomnia has trained me to find a way to be productive if I can't sleep. So it's almost a given that when 2 a.m. rolls around, I'll be propped up by my pillows in bed, writing like a fool. Last night, I was editing at 4 a.m. I crashed around 5 a.m. I think. It's just how it goes.
Not much glamorous about that, eh? I guess the romantic vision of writing never really holds up in reality. Sure, my beach story probably sounds close to the romantic vision, but just remember, I left out the part where I always have to dodge wild horse poop to find a place to sit.
So, that's my writing reality. Probably explains why I'm prematurely going gray and always have dark circles under my eyes.
Now, practically everyone I know who reads this blog has done some writing at some point, so now that I've 'fessed up to some of my writing rituals, I want to hear yours. I don't care if you Livejournal or have only written a few short stories. Did you have rituals of your own? Does writing relax you or does it make you want to tear out your hair? Heck, let's go even further: if you ever sat down to write a novel of your own, what would you most want to write about?
Give me the scoop, ladies! Or else ... um, I will cry? You don't want me to cry, do you? I'm a very sloppy crier.