My Writing Process

My brain does not like to do what I tell it to.  

I can think up endless stories and worlds at any time of the day, but when it comes time to sit and actually write it down, it is a complete disaster.  My ADD only acts up when I actually try, so if I’m not working hard I have no issues.  Here’s a list of what my brain thinks I absolutely have to do in order to write.

1.) Wear comfortable pants.  

Or no pants at all.  I’m not one to wear sweatpants or leggings when I leave the house, but if I’m trying to write jeans are just out of the question.  My waistband is too tight, uncomfortable lines are digging into my thighs, etc.  So either it’s pants off or no work.  

2.) Get rid of the animal.

Mr. Kitty becomes at least 10x cuter when I have stuff to do.  He also becomes more loving. When I’m sitting on the couch watching a movie he hates me and tries to bite my face off.  But, when I sit down at my magical desk and tell him to leave me alone, all of a sudden his undying love for him must be pronounced via belly rub, ear scratches  etc.  Solution? I have close the door to my room and lock him out.  

3.) Fill the silence.  

Silence is killer for me.  I can’t even sleep in silence.  I always have an audiobook or soft music playing when I lay down at night to help lull me to sleep.  If I don’t, every item I need to put on my grocery list and every single thing I have to get done in the next month parades around my brain in a never-ending list.  Solution? I made a playlist of my favorite songs that I play every time I write.  I also have giant, super unattractive headphones to block out Mr. Kitty’s whining and scratching at the door.  This is actually the best thing I’ve ever done to increase my productivity.  

4.) Have snacks at the ready. 

It’s like magic.  As soon as I get 100 words into whatever I’m working on, hunger strikes.  Foods I don’t even like all of a sudden sound like the tastiest snacks on the planet.  So, whenever I sit down to write I always plan a snack to have nearby. 

5.) Set the thermostat.

If it’s too cold or too hot, just forget about it.  Nothing worthwhile is going to get done.

6.) Turn off the phone and the internet.  

No mom, it’s not a good time to talk.  No Meaghan, I can’t go get my nails done.  When I sit down to write I suddenly become the most popular person around.  Everyone wants to talk or go out only because it’s a bad time.  Any other time my phone lays silent on the counter and my facebook notifications remain at 0.  I find it extremely hard to say no to people, so I have to make sure they never even get ahold of me.  Sorry WordPress, but I have to block you too when I write.   

And if I get all of this done within a reasonable amount of time, maybe the I’ll actually get some good writing done.  Maybe.  

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11 thoughts on “My Writing Process

  1. #4 is crucial for me too.

  2. Brittany says:

    #1 is a prerequisite for getting ANYTHING done in my apartment. I don’t know why, but I’m 10x more likely to do things if I’m not wearing pants and the place is filled with natural light. However, it’s a combo that can be very dangerous…

  3. I’m totally with you on the pants – elastic waist all the way, baby…

  4. Liza Barrett says:

    That’s pretty much … exactly the order that I prepare to sit down and write. Comfy pants. Kick the cat out (you’re right; he does want endless attention when I’m trying to focus and none at all the rest of the time). Music on. Internet off. Snacks and temperature get adjusted throughout, mostly because I change my mind after I get into a rhythm.

    Incidentally, this is also how I do math homework now that I’ve started grad school…

  5. Kristy J. W. says:

    Love this, great post! I can completely relate to some of what you mentioned. I have to write in a certain room and have background noise when I sleep. I also cannot write in silence, I need noise such as music or TV. And yes why do people and pets always demand attention when we are writing?

  6. Ru says:

    Reblogged this on Creative Caffeinations and commented:
    THIS. This sums it up perfectly for me, as well.

  7. Samantha says:

    Except for the cat part (as I don’t have any pets), I have the same ritual to prepare for writing. Glad to know I’m not alone. 😀

  8. lnahay says:

    Yes! No jeans! I take off my jeans as soon as I get home and throw on something softer and typically wholly unflattering but much more writer-friendly 🙂 Cats, kids, dog, ADD brain. I think we’re all somewhat similarly cursed. Reverse psychology has been working for me. I ‘ground’ myself. No computer, no writing, and my brain kicks into a panic and words start pouring through. Keep pen and paper handy!

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