This is the method that works for me. Of course, I hate wasting time I could be writing doing mental prep, even though it does help to give yourself motivation and millions of reasons to sit down and pound it out. But sometimes even that just doesn’t cut it.
So I researched what some writers did when I was struggling sitting down for longer than a few hours, no matter how much I wanted to.
Kat Rosenfield said she makes herself comfortable, whatever it takes her to do. She mentions a cup of coffee, a song, even a glass of wine or your favorite TV show.
Samantha Shannon said she sits down at her computer all day until one in the morning- initially with a cup of coffee, checking her email and such until the brain fog goes away, until she eventually gains momentum and goes until late in the night.
Stephenie Meyer often credits music- her favorite bands such as Muse, Blue October. And she did manage to write all of her books with three kids. She wrote in spirals when taking them to swim class and such, and when the kids were asleep at night she often typed it out. So really she didn’t make herself comfortable, but did whatever she could, whenever she could- all the time.
So after a year of consistent writing- I tried everything. And with much struggling, I found what works for me.
For about a month, I slept all day and wake all night writing. No phone calls, few emails, no texts, no outside world,no family or friends awake to bother me. I used to think that no one could be home or awake for me to write,so I kept staying up all night- and I got work done, but I was plenty depressed, and I could be noisy in the kitchen or living room, so it was unrealistic. I couldn’t cook or anything, really without waking anyone in the house up. And it was always dark outside, so it was fucking making me crazy after two weeks. I was never available to go anywhere, which is also unrealistic. I have to go to the grocery store, socialize with real people, at some point.
It wasn’t working for me to wait until the house was quiet- it was never going to be completely quiet. I came to terms with this.So I got myself into the mindset that no one could stop me. Not cleaning, not cooking, fuck everything. Everything could wait until I pounded it out for three hours.
So I started getting up at 5, and that rocked. I write until 8 and then break for breakfast and a little Tv, and then I come back and pound it out all happy and stronger.
I also do the ‘make myself comfortable’ thing when I have the luxury of being able to sit at my desk. Otherwise, I type into my phone, or take a spiral and a pen everywhere I am. But I find sitting at my desk with my comfort stuff makes writing so much more enjoyable.
I keep a sort of ‘kit’ with all my necessities with me everywhere that I write, though I prefer to write on my desk where I can lay out all my spirals and put my laptop up high under two textbooks so I can see it eye level (less neck pain). It has tissues, glasses cleaning cloths, a box of matches, eucalyptus oil, some hand cream etc.
I listen to my favorite music sometimes, and sometimes i will listen to the same song 234 times until I get through a scene, or I’ll listen to nothing if I’m really in the zone. Listening to nothing can be really, really great sometimes. Over-doing the music is a headache for me. But I do like to put some thick headphones on to block out distractions, and either keep the music off or put something lovely on. Sometimes it’s upbeat, sometimes it’s calm, sometimes it’s powerful, and sometimes it’s completely depressing- whatever I feel like listening to works. Sometimes its the same artist and album.
Call me a freak, but I feel like once that white candle is lighting, my ideas don’t stop coming. I know it’s probably all mental, but I started lighting it in meditation when I was reading and watching Dr. Wayne Dyer, trying to find my sense of peace with the world.
Personally I feel very lucky. If I could spend the rest of my life writing like this, 8 hours a day, I would be very, very happy. Living is important, but I can’t live without creating. Writing poetry, music, and such.
A lot of it is about
getting to a mental place, but physically being comfortable helps, too.
Vacuuming is great. I feel one hundred percent refreshed when my entire apartment is clean, and sometimes if I don’t have the patience, I’ll just do the area of the room I write in. I usually end up doing the whole house, but you get the picture.