Thursday, April 23, 2009

True Confession Time

photo courtesy of jovite

No sordid details. I promise.

The other day I sat down to work on edits for my novel and something seemed off. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was different, but I had a hard time concentrating. The words were a jumble on the page (that's why I needed to edit. Duh!)

I ran downstairs and got a Diet Coke, grabbed a bowl of pretzels and returned to my computer. My comfortable writing chair felt fine, my screen was at the perfect angle and the light wasn't glaring. Then it dawned on me. I had shoes on. I usually never wear shoes in the house and never wear them upstairs to my office, but in my excitement to finish editing the chapter, I had rushed in after an errand and failed to remove said shoes.

Now is that dumb or what that I couldn't concentrate with shoes on. I wrote curriculum for XX (a lot) of years in a corporate setting and always wore shoes in the office.

Anyway it got me to thinking about some of my other weird writing habits... Like my chair. My old faithful died a few years back, so I went to several office supply and furniture stores and did numerous test sits until I found the perfect one. Now, if I'm not at home, I have a hard time writing because my butt is not comfortable anywhere else.

And my tunes. I have a couple of different mixes that I use depending on the scene I'm writing. If it's introspective, I listen to classical. If it's a tense, I tend to go more for old rock tunes. And romantic, I pick country. But, I always have music on.

My clothing. I opt for sweats or pj's. Again, couldn't do that in the corporate world. Yeah, for working from home!

Visuals. I used to have a window by my computer, but found it too distracting. I'd catch myself staring out into the yard watching butterflies or thinking about the weeds that needed to be pulled. Anyway, I switched my office around so I can't look outside, but whenever possible, I keep the window open. I love a gentle breeze. But that aside, now I have a wonderful view of my bookshelf, and that makes me happy.

And I love fragrances. I keep one of those diffusers on my book shelf, usually with something fresh-smelling like rain or clean cotton. I'm a sap for all that natury stuff.

So what are your writing habits? Do you write in your underwear with a lampshade on your head? True confession time.


K9friend said...

I don't seem to have any writing habits...Wait a minute! Maybe that's my problem!! Okay, starting today I resolve to write when only wearing my underwear. Won't my husband be surprised!

Tricia Grissom said...

I dont know how you guys listen to music. It makes my brain go fizzle. So it has to be quiet, but seriously, I write in chaos. My kids have usually covered the computer desk in papers and granola bar wrappers.

If my elbow didnt stick to the desk, I probably couldnt write. (Now is that Kool-Aid or oatmeal?)

Writer Chick said...

Don't forget the lampshade.

Umm my desk is not neat. One of these days I'll snap a photo and post it, but it's my own personal chaos. I detest sharing my computer space with anyone.. grrrrrr.

I'm thinking the reason I need music is because my house is tomb- quiet. If I don't have music my characters start chatting amongst themselves and that drives me batty!

Mary Ingmire said...

As an empty-nester, I like the solitude of being at home alone. No television, radio, or other sounds to intrude. Of course, if I'm writer-blocked, my floors get cleaned, the laundry gets done, and dishes washed. If only I could make myself stay off the internet.

BECKY said...

I love this post! I would've never thought to ask about others' writing habits! Mine have definitely changed over the years. For one thing, I used to have only the Big Old Honkin' computer in my upstairs office. I still have that one, but hardly ever use it, because I LIVE with my laptop! I used to like a nice, clean area and pretty things to look at when I wrote, but now I write amongst piles of clutter...and I don't seem to mind, which is great for my creativity...but very bad for my house cleaning psyche!

Cindy said...

Somehow stumbled on your that you're a writer, too. Writing habits are really interesting. I love to write and research sitting downstairs on the sofa with the sun pouring in on my shoulders--until I realized that I loved it so much because I fell asleep:(

No shoes are a must in warm weather and during the winter, my woolie socks are a must. Somehow if my feet are cold I can't concentrate! Go figure...I've had a blog for a year but just began a new one about my writing life at

Writer Chick said...

Mary, I know what you mean about getting sidetracked with chores when you writer-blocked. I'm just the opposite, usually when I'm cleaning house is when I get sidetracked. I'll start cleaning out a drawer instead of mopping a floor. Four hours later, I'll have all the drawers organized and my house is still a wreck.

Writer Chick said...

Becky, I lived on my laptop,too until I got a little lightning in through my phone line and it fried the lan card. Now it just limps along. I'm waiting until Dell sells Microsoft 7 instead of Vista to buy a new one.

Nicole said...

I must have complete quiet when I am writing..I don't care for a lot of light either, (of course, I rarely do, anyway..)
I am usually writing in a pair of old scrubs or my pajamas..
It is almost always evening or late night...Good question, and interesting responses!