Archive for the The Writing Climate Category

The Undisciplined Writer’s Dream

Posted in The Writing Climate on November 17, 2009 by Lizzie

My childhood memories are sepia toned: I climbed trees with the boys, downed pixie sticks with birch beer, and wore ridiculous pink high-heeled pumps with my pajamas.  While I still like to pair heels with flannel, I’ve pretty much accepted that I’m getting smarter. 

That was until I read Dave Caolo’s post, “Setting Up a Writing Mac.”  He advises dragging that old computer out from the basement and actually using it again – for writing only.  No web browser for convenient procrastination or iTunes for those distracting dance parties (exactly what I did for the last hour instead of writing this post). 

My first electronic love was a prehistoric typewriter that hummed like a mosquito when I plugged it in.  I would type away for hours, pretending to be famous and pumping out the most pathetic plots possible.  When I moved to Jersey, I graduated to the Mac, biking over to the public library if I needed the Internet or printer.  The computer was bigger than the desk it was on, but it served a purpose, and I still have some of the stories I drafted on that desktop.

What do you think about recycling an old computer?  Would your writing benefit from less distractions?

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Environmental Motivation

Posted in The Writing Climate on October 14, 2009 by Lizzie

Like it or not, serious writing involves some amount of routine (a taboo word in my vocabulary, too).  If you write only when you feel like writing or only when you have the time to dedicate to it, you’ll never get closer to that best-selling novel you’ve been dreaming about since the third grade.  You know you have to buckle down every day, give yourself a goal word count, and actually stick to it, but it’s difficult to do, right?

Not with the right environment.  If I settled down to write the next great American novel in my room with fluorescent lighting, piles of unfolded laundry, and a radio screaming U2’s Joshua Tree, I wouldn’t last a minute (c’mon, who can write when belting out lyrics with Bono?).  And I’d never get anything written.

I need a quiet place.  A room with soft lighting.  Candles.  My favorite books at hand.  The largest mug of coffee known to humanity.  CHOCOLATE.  This sounds like an oasis to me.  It will undoubtedly be cluttered and messy, but it will be my space.  If you can’t bring yourself to write everyday, make your writing environment an oasis where you’ll want to escape.  Whatever that looks like to you.  Wherever you find inspiration.  Although the image of the poet scratching away with quill and ink in a dusty attic or dank dungeon sounds romantic, I’d probably spend more time shivering than writing.  Find that atmosphere that works for you, and write.

Check out The Guardian‘s series: Writer’s Rooms.