Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Writing Essentials

I had another blog post in mind for today, but a question I encountered during a recent interview on In Search of Giants got me to thinking about the different things writers need in order to get into their creative zones. Some people are morning writers, who can only work during those before dawn hours when the house is quiet and everything is still. Other people like to burn the midnight oil. They may see the sun sneaking up just over the horizon, but that's after hours of typing away on their laptops.

There are those writers who need music. Some even go so far as to create playlist that are inspired by the characters in their works-in-progress. Others may write to music, but would pull their hair out if that music actually contained lyrics.

For me, it's coffee. Yes. Coffee.

Now, I've tried writing without my liquid caffeine, and have actually been able to get words on the page. But I don't recommend it. Coffee makes things easier for me. The words flow more freely. The setting is more vivid. My characters are more entertaining. It's all better with coffee.

I consider myself a connoisseur. I just checked my freezer and cabinets and counted fourteen different types of coffee. I just never know what I will be in the mood for. I don't do flavored, but love a robust dark roast. On the really tough mornings, nothing but a full-bodied coffee with chicory will do. I buy whole bean, because grinding it fresh makes for a better cup.

Yes, I take my coffee seriously. It's essential to my writing. I have to take it seriously.

Whether you're a writer, musician, tax attorney, or mime, what one thing do you absolutely need in order to work?


Phyllis Bourne said...


G said...

Peace of mind, or rather, simply a non-racing at full throttle state of being.

I find that unless I got my head basically de-cluttered of everything except what I have to write, I can't write.

alanarose said...

I have to have color. My moods are set with color and I need an ever changing array of color. I use my Ed Hardy calendar for breaks of color, but my absolute favorite is my color changing salt lamp. Every mood has a color and without my lamp, I forget that. Great post!!!

Allison Jones said...

A pen and a notebook. I doodle, draw arrows, and make connections in my notebook which helps me see my ideas more clearly.

Katrina said...

Gum. I smack my Juicyfruit as I write. Nothing like looking like a cow to get the brain flowing.

Farrah Rochon said...

Isn't it amazing how different writers are?

Phyllis, I knew you were another coffee fanatic. :)

G, I try to take a deep breath and find my center, too. I need quiet and calm. And, uh, coffee, lol.

Alanarose (pretty name, btw! I had a character named Alana Grace), I wrote a paper during my undergrad years on color's effect on mood changes. Fascinating.

Allison, I'm pretty visual, too. I always have a pen and notebook, and have lots of circles and arrows to make connections between ideas and character traits.

Katrina, that is LOL funny. I'm sure the cows appreciate it.

Liane Spicer said...

Order. I can't write in the middle of chaos. Doesn't matter whether the mess is physical or all in my mind; it just gets between me and the page.

Love coffee, but I went decaf years ago when I'd get screaming headaches if I didn't get my brew. Maybe it's time to fall off that wagon...

Shauna Roberts said...

A calm mind and my own office.

Jewel Amethyst said...

When I take coffee I can forget about sleeping for a day or two. The only thing I need to write is time. I fit it in during little breaks at work. I fit it in after the kids go to bed. Just give me a good little space of time and I can get my writing going.

Oh, and quiet too.