It’s interesting how this affected my writing yesterday. I’ve been plotting, planning and diagramming like crazy for about a week in a full-steam-ahead onslaught to starting “TAKERS II” (omg I need a better title), and finally yesterday I was ready to actually put words to page (fingers to keyboard) to start actually writing the thing.
And I thought, with all the noise going on out there, all the conversation I could hear from my roomies (some in the form of hollering across our rather large house) in spite of the fact that I’m in my own office with my door closed, how the heck am I going to be able to actually get inside this character of mine and write like I’m him? It’s no easy feat even on the best of days, I tell you.
But the most interesting thing happened. In spite of – nay, because of – the controlled chaos going on in the rest of the house, I actually completed not only the book’s first chapter, but its first two chapters!
I should thank my roomies for offering me this insight into how I work. Apparently when I feel like, “Holy crap, quick, I gotta write before they need my muscles to help move something else,” I write quickly and well. I was chatting with a friend on Twitter yesterday about that very thing. She said she also seems to write better when there’s all kinds of ‘stuff’ going on around her. She asked if it was weird.
I need to do a poll, because I would love to know of all of you out there who are writers yourselves – whether you’re published or not is irrelevant to me, because if you tap something out on a keyboard or use a pen and a notebook, you’re a writer in my book – how do you write best?
I suspect the answers would be as individual as the people responding. I’ve read where some authors claim they need to stick to a very rigid schedule or they won’t write at all. Others can write under any circumstance and still others, like my Twitter friend, thrive on noise and chaos.
I do find that I write better when I have my ‘writing music’ blasting, whether through my ear buds or just from my iPhone sitting on the desk next to me. And my music tastes take the cake for defining the word ‘eclectic.’ I’ve got everything from Andrea Bocelli to ABBA to Ke$ha. Lady Gaga to Josh Groban to Eminem. I’ve got TV soundtracks (Hawaii Five-0), movie soundtracks (Feed, Mamma Mia!), Diddy, Elvis Presley and Hoobastank. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jessie J, Katy Perry and Colbie Caillat. Oh, and we mustn’t forget about Evanescence, Train, Pink, Nickelback, Dr. Hook, Led Zeppelin and Marilyn Manson. I mean, we’re talking serious variety.
What can I say? I’m not a genre girl. I like a song because I like a song, not because it’s ‘blues’ or ‘rock’ or ‘heavy metal’ or ‘pop.’
How many other writers listen to music while they write, I wonder. I’m going to go look for a poll widget…
And yet I find that I can also write in complete and total silence. I get up really early in the morning, usually before five a.m., and on weekends that is the best, because it guarantees me at least four hours of having the world to myself. Lots of times I’ll just sit in the peace of my office and get all sorts of stuff written. Other times, I can’t type the word ‘the’ to save my life.
I’m not sure what it is that ebbs and flows within me that allows me to write or says, “Nope, not today.” But in spite of all these people who say you must force yourself to write every day whether you feel like it or not, I find that if I force myself when I’m not inspired, the result is for shit. As in, it sucks. Badly, sometimes.
But when I’m inspired, it’s 94 words-per-minute, no-holds-barred, holy crap, she can write a novel in a week type of thing.
I just take my inspiration as it comes, and continue to marvel when I perform some new feat I didn’t think I’d be able to – like writing the first two chapters of a new novel with things as heavy as beds and boxes of books being dragged all over the place just outside my door. And calls of “We need Ox, Incorporated to help!”
(When I was younger, I was known as “The Ox” by my friends because for a female I had a ridiculously strong back – and was just strong all the way around. For example, I moved a love seat where both sides of it were recliners…we’re talking full-blown metal workings, everything…all by myself when my friend threw her back out and couldn’t help. That mother was heavy.)
So thanks, Roomies! Another thing to add to my list of “Yeah, I’m Weird…But I’m a Writer, so That’s Normal!”
Don’t forget, if you want to have a look at the first 3-1/2 chapters of my first published novel, “TAKERS,” you can click on the book cover over in my right sidebar here, or on the link in the Links section (also on the right sidebar). It’s currently only available on Amazon.com in Kindle format. My publisher’s battling through the flu to try and get it out on Smashwords so you’ll be able to download it to other types of readers and in PDF if you want.