Three questions...three answers
I've been getting a few messages about my posts - thank you for taking the time to contact me. Some of the questions are to the point and require a quick answer - so I thought I would cover three questions with three answers, in today's post.
Q1 Do you listen to music when you write?
Answer: No. Silence please!
I like to write very early in the morning when the house is completely quiet. When I'm writing new chapters I only seem to be able to do so in the morning - before I've heard the news of the day, looked at my phone, spoken a word to anyone, or thought about the day ahead. It's when the character is the clearest in my mind and I just write where they are going.
At the end of the day, when I'm going back over a manuscript, editing or researching, then background noise doesn't bother me at all. The TV can be on, the dishwasher humming away - not a bother. I can even have a break, watch something on TV, talk to a friend on the phone, and come back to whatever I as doing.
I listen to a lot of podcasts and my favourite ones are writers talking about writing. I've discovered that some other writers need to have music playing, are able to write on a train, or in coffee shop (remind you of a famous boy wizard?). Some writers can write in crowded, busy spaces, others take themselves somewhere isolated and write non stop for a couple of months.
It seems that like everything else about writing, you have to find what works for you - but for me - shhhhhhhhhh...
Q2 Where do you write?
Answer: My study.
I've only ever written in one spot - at my desk, in my study. I've thought about buying a laptop so I have the freedom to work anywhere but I like where I write. I have everything I need.
All my manuscripts and notebooks are here, I have a clear view out the window to the front of my house and garden. There's something very pleasing about writing when the world outside is still dark and asleep, and after I finish the chapter, raising the blind to see the sun has come up. (In the summertime, one of my neighbours rides her bike to the pool. She rings the bike bell as she goes past - it's a very comforting sound).
Plus - and this is very important- under my desk is a dog bed. I just can't imagine writing without a sleeping dog keeping me company.
Q3 Do you have snacks when you're writing?
I'm an early morning writer and I always have a cup of coffee when I start. After that I have cups of tea and because it's morning - sometimes I eat a bowl of cereal too.
However, when I'm going over stuff, editing, writing these posts, doing some online research, snacks are definitely needed.
My favourite, of all time, is a ginger nut biscuit (or three), dunking them in my cup of tea and timing it just right so that it's soggy enough but not too soggy that it falls apart and ends up at the bottom of the cup.
Another favourite is fruit but it has to be in bite size pieces - like grapes or slices of mandarins. I can't hold an apple and type. I always have a water bottle and occasionally, especially in winter, a mug of soup.
The bottom line - as long as the snack doesn't stop me from typing, or put crumbs on the keyboard, then it's fine to have.