Today’s blog chain was started by Tere. She asks:
“So here’s my topic: What conditions do you need to get your best writing done? Closed door, crowded coffee house? Computer or notebook? Can you just sit down to write, or do you need to wait for the time to be right?”
When I was in high school, I picked up my journal when angst hit. Friend troubles, parent issues, boy heartbreak–my journal was my go to place for poetry or short stories (I was never the write down bare thoughts kind of girl; all had to be said through poems or a story). I also never just wrote anywhere. In those down moments, I’d go to my room, close the door, turn out all lights except for a reading light, wrap myself in blankets and write. My family knew not to bother me (but they did anyway). Sometimes, I’d be there for hours, and when I was done, while I never felt better immediately, it usually sparked something within that eventually got me out of my funk.
These days, I can’t do that. I have a husband and a four-year-old and neither would be thrilled if I just picked up and went to write in my room because the mood struck me. Too bad. So I have to plan. I write when my son is in school or if I arrange for a day ahead of time with hubby so he knows he’s on duty. And deadlines are great because they motivate me. With the schedule above, I try hard to produce when I have the set time, but my brain wanders and I can’t always focus. When I have a deadline, I always focus, usually because I have consecutive days where I write.
I did start carrying a notebook with me, though, and when a thought strikes (like when I’m waiting for my son to be done with gymnastics or if his pre-k is running late or Hubby is driving us somewhere) I write it down immediately. Writing by hand has also cleared my head when I’ve been stumped.
But what would I really love? The best way I can perform if given the choice? A weekend writing retreat. I LOVE these and it’s been so so long. It doesn’t have to be formal. Usually, it’s just a friend or two getting together at a hotel or shore house to write, write, write. I want another so badly. Maybe I’ll plan for one soon….
How about you? Share your ideal writing situation then check out Shaun’s post from yesterday.