But I've learned that those of us who spend some time sitting at a keyboard and typing out our stories, all have something we HAVE to do. There is a little quirky bit in all of us that sets us apart from the masses.
I've known people who do elaborate plot boards, or people who need a specific set of pens and post-its for notes.
At first I tried to hide my quirks or just plain had to because I didn't have an office before last year. Since I've set up my own space and had some time to settle in, I've noticed a few things about myself, and thought I'd share.
My Top Five Weird Writing Ways...
1. I write better with over the ear headphones on. Nope. No idea why. Even if there's nothing playing in them, the act of putting the world-hushing cups over my ears gets me writing more quickly than I would have otherwise. I put them on before I started writing this blog.
2. I need post-its and a pen. Always. If I'm cooking away on a scene and don't want to stop, but a thought entered my brain about an upcoming event, major life task I should have already handled, bill I should pay, etc...I HAVE to write it down. So I scribble a note and slap it on the wall in front of me. It's on paper so it's out of my head and I can continue where I was. If I didn't have that paper, I would have had to stop the flow coming from my fingers and lose the magic. I don't always write on those sheets of paper, but I do have to have them. Otherwise I worry about not having them as I'm writing. (There's a reason I titled this list "weird")
3. A pen any color other than red to use for edits. Maybe it's the vicious ways those teachers used to mark up my first stories in middle school with red, or the blast of red that comes on a computer screen with the track changes file from the editors. I don't know. But I can't make edits to my paper copy with red. I usually use purple or green. I can't stand marking up paper with red. I'm pretty sure I changed my own Track Changes colors to reflect this too. I like making a manuscript better and ripping it to shreds. I just want it to bleed purple.
5. Noise. I need noise. I've only recently started writing in an office and I found out really quick that writing without some kind of background noise was HELL. My mind wandered. I bounce back and forth between a well-curated Pandora channel, and my favorite Ambient Mixer room, the Hogwarts Library. If I'm going in for longer stints I can rock with the Pandora station that had driving beats to keep me going, but if I need to zero in and focus, it's going to be my ASMR-style background noise.
Are you a writer? What are your weirdly wonderful ways that you keep the words flowing? I'd love to hear about them.