In The Habit

I think every single writer throughout history has had habits or some ritual they did that helped them to write and/or kept them writing. They may have even had a specific place they always went to when they were writing. I think the same is true for today’s writers. I know it’s true for me.

My writing habits are:

1. Writing in the morning or during the day.
2. Sometimes listening to music or having the television on
3. Carrying a recording device(journal, cellphone, etc.) with me to jot down ideas on the spur of the moment
4. Keeping my notes together as much as possible
5. Reading over some older work (if it’s poetry I’m working on)
6. Reading over what I’ve already written (if it’s a novel, short story, short story series)
7. Writing almost anywhere I can

The above are my general writing tendencies. These help me when I’m writing. Allow me to explain each one.

1. I’m a morning person. I am much more productive in the morning and throughout the day than I am during dusk. So writing either in the morning or some time in the day is a better choice for me. Now, from time to time I will write at night and into the wee hours of the morning. This was much more prevalent during my college days when I had time. Since I’ve graduated, not so much time these days.

2. I love music. It has a soothing quality to it so it helps to relax me. It also helps because sometimes I’ll stop writing and listen to the song playing, which provides a brief break. Television works like that too. It provides mini-breaks because from time to time I’ll look away from what I’m writing to watch a little tv. It breaks up the monotony a bit.

3. I usually just carry my cell phone to record fleeting ideas because it’s easier. Sometimes I’ll carry a small journal with me or my Moleskine journal. Ideas come quick and are often fleeting so it’s important to have a portable recording device to capture these ideas. Paper and pen is actually a safer way to keep ideas guarded so I think I’m going to start carrying paper and pen with me from now on. Not only that but my word count is unlimited. With a cell phone you only have so many characters.

4. Keeping my notes together as much as possible has gotten better for me. They use to be all over the place (and they kind of still are but at least I draw references to them now). When writing I need to have access to information regarding a certain project. Now since I’ve modified my process it’s become easier to find what I’m looking for.

5. Often times, when I’m working on poetry or feel the urge to write poetry, I’ll re-read what I’ve done in the past. It helps to get the poetic flow going again.

6. The above is also true when I’m writing a novel, short story or short story series. Re-reading helps me get my bearings straight in the story so that I can pick up where I left off. For this very reason I try not to ever stop writing in the middle of a scene (which I ‘ve done on occasion in the past).

7. Some writers have a special place they go to when they write. I don’t have any place in particular really. I write where every I can. In the living room, bedroom, kitchen, outside, in the car on long trips if I could. The reason is because when I’m writing a project, particularly a novel, I get so much of an urge to write that I can’t wait. So whether I’m on vacation, visiting family out of state, have family visiting from out of state, I’ll go get my laptop and start writing. I don’t do this often because I force myself not to do this. I want to enjoy the time and festivities as much as possible with those I’m around. So I just carry my little recording device and make notes 🙂

That’s about it for me.

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