All writers supposedly have their own little rituals and habits that kick starts their muse and makes them able to write. Be it checking all their e-mails, wearing their favourite shoes or drinking a certain type of tea in a specific mug that needs to be lined up perpendicular to the edge of the desk. But I don’t think I really have any. Frankly if I’m in a heated, well lit room and I’m wearing clean clothes then I consider myself lucky. Maybe there are some certain conditions I need to write that I just don’t realise. Maybe I really would be lost without the constant mess on my desk.
I can think of one or two little things though. Some writers need total and complete silence to concentrate. Apparently even a dog barking in the distance is distracting. I’m actually the complete opposite. I’ve gotten so used to writing while listening to music that I can’t write without it. And that’s saying something considering my taste in music is virtually non-existent.
It stems back to sixth form college, where the study room was the most unproductive place in the whole school (I think someone had sex in it once). So I had no choice but to study in the classroom during my free periods. But there were classes going on at the same time so the only way I could block out the noise was to put my MP3 player on full volume. It was new at the time (amazingly, it still just about works) so I could go through every single song I had on it in one double period.
But the reason I was able to concentrate so well on studying was that I knew each song so well that it was easy to tune that out too. I couldn’t heart he noises of the classroom and I wasn’t distracted by the music either. Even now, I can block everything out within just a few minutes and work that way for hours at a time. I’ve been a swot at school since I was little, so I’m very good at blocking out even the worst noise.
The other thing is hunger. I just find it impossible to work when I’m hungry, so the whole starving artist thing won’t work for me. Thing is, I have such a small appetite that I can’t handle big meals so I have to take a break every few hours to eat something, which often interrupts my writing streak completely. My boyfriend is the total opposite – He has one huge meal in the middle of the afternoon and he’s good for the rest of the day. I wish I could be like that too.
Otherwise, I don’t really care about what glass I’m drinking out of or what socks I’m wearing. I think these things are just excuses that people’s minds make up to avoid having to work. That or they’re secretly pretentious.
I will admit that the biggest problem I have with writing is that I get hugely distracted by the internet. It would make sense just to turn it off but then I think ‘Noooo! I might need it! What if I have to look something up and I have to wait ages for it to re-connect? I could forget something important in that time!’ And so I spend hours pointlessly trawling through TV Tropes or Youtube. But hey, at least I know what Sue Donym means!
My final condition is that I need to write indoors, preferably in the privacy of my room. But soon I’m going to be sharing an office with my boyfriend who screams like a sailor when he loses at a video game so oh hell…
Whenever I think ‘It’s such a lovely day today! I think I’ll go write outside. La di la di la la la!’ I’m usually deluding myself. I either get cold, rained on, covered in bugs and grass or pestered by drunks.
So much for the summer cottage by the lake…