View Full Version : Your Writing Ritual

Ralph Pines
07-10-2008, 06:28 AM
What do you do to get in the mood?

When and where do you write?

What things you need or must have before you start?

Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin?

Music? Soundtracks? I NEED QUIET!

Anything else?

Danger Jane
07-10-2008, 07:21 AM
Open laptop. Begin typing.

TV may be on something I don't watch for background noise, more likely there's mood music to fit the story.

Ralph Pines
07-10-2008, 07:26 AM
I write late at night, headphones on, a given soundtrack for whatever I am writing playing on my iTunes. That or go to the local bookstore/coffee shop and sit down with a large latte and a legal pad and start scribbling.

07-10-2008, 07:44 AM
I write best at night. The night for me is way less distracting. I can sit in bed while the bf sleep, tv on low and write.
I always need the books I am currently reading around me, my notebooks (of course), my pen, a highlighter or two.

When I write during the day, it's not as productive, but I can get things out.
Everything is just too distracting for me during the day.

07-10-2008, 07:47 AM
I put on a frilly pirate shirt, drink a glass of phentermine, and act out my prose to my manservant, Haggis.

07-10-2008, 09:12 AM
I write mostly during the day, and sometimes at night as well.

The day starts when I boot up my laptop and get a drink or something (it takes ten minutes to start up), open up the folder for that specific manuscript project and notes, open up Windows Media player, and start writing with some music, particularly a soundtrack I put together while writing the story that reflects moods, themes, and even actions in a particular scene or chapter.

I mostly write inside, but on the rare occasion I'll take a trip out onto the deck and write there with my laptop... gets the creative juices flowing for me.

Danger Jane
07-10-2008, 09:16 AM
I put on a frilly pirate shirt, drink a glass of phentermine, and act out my prose to my manservant, Haggis.

I forgot to mention that part...

07-10-2008, 09:18 AM
What do you do to get in the mood?

I don't write for months, then I offer to crit somebody else's stuff, then I crave my own, then I think about doing it, then I do it. And I do it for a few months, stop again....cycle continues.

When and where do you right? I used to write at work - but I notice I did a lot more at home in the evening, with a drink. Not drunk, mind you, but a drink to relax and get the blood flowin. I still do a little at work though, when I am able to write. On the couch, laptop on the lap.

What things you need or must have before you start? It helps when I go over my own stuff, maybe edit a little, or just read over some of it to get the story going again in my head...a drink helps, quiet room of course, not much. I'm pretty easy.

Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin? I don't have like, a lucky pen or something...I just write. Laptop. If I'm on the train - which is very rare lately I used a notepad and pen. But mostly just laptop. Or work desk comp.

Music? Soundtracks? I NEED QUIET! If I'm alone, and have a drink or two, I do like music. It helps with what I'm writing.

Anything else? Nope.

07-10-2008, 09:41 AM
I used to think I was a strictly night person. And even now, at the ripe old age of 28, I still stay up all night and sleep my mornings or afternoons away.

However, finding myself living in a new place, I can't seem to get the writing mojo to work unless it's fairly early. Prime writing hours take place between nine AM and three PM. I resent it, but what can I do? I guess my muse is otherwise occupied the rest of the day, eh? ^_^

I write in bed, laying belly down and backwards (so my feet are at the headboard). I have my pillow wadded up underneath my chest to prop me up. I have a stack of cheap bulk black pens I adore. I use a couple notebooks, one for the draft, another for outlines or notes for the story (I write short stories). I have to shoo away cats pretty much all day cuz they associate my notebooks with my hands, and hands are good, hands can pet them. Sometimes I use my lil iPod, Donut, and sometimes I just listen to the fan. The only thing really weird about me is I like to wear as little as possible when I'm writing. And no, I don't write smut, I just think that way. ^_^


07-10-2008, 10:20 AM
What do you do to get in the mood?

Usually I need a glass of wine and some naughty...oh, wait. You meant the mood for WRITING.

Butt in Chair, usually.

When and where do you right?

Usually at the office, in between stupid tasks from my bosses. Also, back in my 20-foot metal box, while the hubs is watching TV.

What things you need or must have before you start?

LOTS of diet coke. Sometimes I can write with music, sometimes not. When I write fight scenes, I like to have the instrumentals from Last of the Mohicans or Lord of the Rings playing. Anything with lyrics distracts me.

Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin?

Computer, natch! Sometimes I scrawl ideas on napkins.

07-10-2008, 02:32 PM
Sit down at computer. Open WiP (empty document). Type a few words. Delete words. Open Firefox and browse to AW (for inspiration of course). Open a new tab and browse to the writer's chat on another site (for encouragement of course). Get caught up in a conversation about food and some threads about kittehs. Remember icanhascheezburger.com and spend twenty glorious minutes looking at new lolcats. Catch up on all the webcomics I read. Remember the writing and suggest a word war in chat. No one else is interested. Go back to WiP anyway and stare at blank page for ten minutes. Get an IM suggesting a beer or two. Think this is a really good idea and shut down computer.

Now I'm reduced to pen and paper it's going a little better.

07-10-2008, 04:37 PM
Your Writing Ritual
What do you do to get in the mood? browse through biographies of the Bronte Sisters for inspiration.

When and where do you right? Being an early bird and night bird- I write best in the wee hours. (it's the afternoon that I'm a walking zombie) I write in the living room. Plopped on the sofa with my trusty lap top

What things you need or must have before you start? tea, reference books, laptop, tv

Music? Soundtracks? the tv must be on. I like to throw in a dvd of some tv show. Then, I'll say, "Okay. I'll write through three episodes of Lost." Also, for some unknown reason, I do some of my best writing during baseball games. Go figure.

07-10-2008, 05:20 PM
I like to write in the morning after husband goes to work. My mind is clear and ideas are just waiting to be written.
I have the TV on in the other room but to write I like the quiet. Nothing to disrupt my train of thought. Although I do admit I get up and get a cup of coffee or tea alot. I also smoke alot during the creative process. I know its a nasty habit but it helps me think.
Mostly I write on the computer, but I scribble notes and changes to the wip down on paper. I ordered a new laptop and I'm waiting for it to be delivered.

07-10-2008, 05:31 PM
What do you do to get in the mood?
I go to work.

When and where do you write?
At work.

What things you need or must have before you start?
Boredom with work.

Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin?

Music? Soundtracks? I NEED QUIET!
Music. Black Sabbath.

Anything else?
No, nosey joe.

07-10-2008, 06:37 PM
I wake up early in the morning and read something to get in the mood. I write early, before the sun rises usually. I usually have to eat something before I write. I listen to all kinds of music when I write but I make my own playlists for certain stories sometimes. I prefer music with strong vocals for writing. I usually get dressed before I write but not always.

07-10-2008, 07:48 PM
What do you do to get in the mood?

Just write. O_o If I waited to "get in the mood," I'd never get anything done! I guess it's a good thing I just like writing, eh?

When and where do you write?

I usually write in the late morning/early afternoon because it's when I have the time and am not busy with other things. I write at the computer in the old dining room because...well, because that's where the computer is. I'd write elsewhere, otherwise. *shrug*

What things you need or must have before you start?

The only thing I need is the writing itself. Anything else is just secondary. I tend to open up the folder I have the writing files stored in, open up Wordpad (what I write in) and either use that to open the file I'm working on or start a new one, and, if I'm working on a chapter story, I'll probably open the last chapter or so in the browser (my files are in HTML format), and if I have a notes file I'll open that too, and maybe the MS Works dictionary. But that's honestly all I need, the writing material itself.

Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin?

Computer. My hands are too slow to keep up with my brain otherwise.

Music? Soundtracks? I NEED QUIET!

Music and stuff doesn't distract me terribly from writing, but it doesn't help, either. I might like a song that comes on and want to listen to it instead of write. I can tune out noises (which I have difficulty doing while reading), but no, music doesn't help while writing.

Anything else?

Can't think of anything else, you'd have to be more specific. :D

07-10-2008, 08:46 PM
I write in the morning. A quick check of emails, then I reread what I wrote the previous day, making minor tweaks and edits. Then I bang out the next scene...

07-10-2008, 08:50 PM
Go buy a frappucino. Find a table, get my book out and write. I do most of my writing in the Starbucks section if my local Barnes and Noble. For some reason I get inspired there. Maybe it's being near so many books or something!

07-10-2008, 08:55 PM
What do you do to get in the mood?

Nothing special. Lighting has to be right. Desk in order. Everything accessible to me. I have to be alone, and it must be quiet time -- no music or diversion. I need water, soda, or lemonade nearby.

When and where do you write?

Anytime I feel like it, which is most of the time. Only at mt desk, although I may scribble notes most anywhere.

What things you need or must have before you start?

Computer, Desk. Lamp. Pad and pencils, Printer.

Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin?

Don't need the napkin or typewriter.

Music? Soundtracks? I NEED QUIET!


Anything else?

Just my research material, anything I previously wrote for the book at hand, and a dictionary.

07-10-2008, 09:04 PM
What do you do to get in the mood?
Depends. But usually, it's something I've read in the paper or seen on TV that inspires me. Sometimes it's something someone has said. Then I sort of run with it.

When and where do you write?
If it's nice outside, I love the beach or on a park bench. If it's not, the bedroom or office. The basic necessity is that I need to be away from people to climb into my cocoon. Usually it's after work (day jobs! Gotta love em!) when the lil' one has gone to bed.

What things you need or must have before you start?
Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin?
Music? Soundtracks?
I need music. Doesn't matter what kind. And it can vary from day to day. Usually I pick a genre that reflects the style I'm writing. And my favourite pen. I MUST HAVE MY FAVOURITE PEN! And my writing book. I never go any place without it.

Anything else?
A sense of playfulness and whimsy. If I get too serious on what I'm writing...at any point it doesn't become FUN and I feel like I'm trudging through mud...I know that session is done for the day.

07-10-2008, 09:36 PM
I prefer computer, but I can write longhand away from my desk as long as I have my Moleskine Kraft paper field notebooks and my Parker Jotter pen.

At the coffee shop, I need no music of my own -- conversations around me, whatever the shop is playing are fine. At home, my current work CD is Steely Dan, A Decade of Steely Dan. At work, my current work CD is Bob Marley and the Wailers, Legend.

Penguin Queen
07-10-2008, 09:44 PM
I check my emails.
Hang around on a couple of messageboards.
Check MySpace.
Do the dishes.
Make another coffee.
Have a fag. (That's Brit English for cigarette, BTW.)
Then it's bedtime/time I leave the house for dayjob, and I put down 1000 words in the space of an hour, & go to bed/work late.


07-11-2008, 12:58 AM
For now I'm on summer vacation, so I keep my laptop on all day, and I write/blog/rattle around several forums in between being a mom of two kiddos, 1 and 4. I have to admit, nothing super serious gets written during the day, but then once they go to bed, I go to the gym. I spend a half hour on the elliptical, letting my brain go all slack, and then as soon as I get home, all that musing comes out in the form of the next scene. Lately I've been writing until about 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning, which isn't so great for when the kids wake up at 6:30 or 7:00, if I'm lucky.

I always have to reread what I wrote the day before, just to get myself in the story and the voice, and I tweak a bit here and there, or sometimes I add a scene or so in a transition that I knew the day before needed work but just wasn't coming out right. Writing makes me feel kind of like being in labor. I pace, I change positions, I swear, and I try above all to open up and let those words come out.

Oh, and unfortunately, I like to eat while I'm writing. I try for healthy, but you know. And coffee is a must.

07-11-2008, 01:15 AM
What do you do to get in the mood?
review what I've covered, check a history forum and AW, muse strikes...

When and where do you write?
any time I can get, Prefer late night , practically anywhere. Library, Gym, Bedroom currently

What things you need or must have before you start?
either pen and legal pad or notebook or laptop/computer
Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin?

Music? Soundtracks?
Celtic music: Especially Wolfe Tones or Chieftains / American Civil War songs/ Old time Italian singers such as Lou Monte

Anything else?
Coffee/tea/food, nice but nowhere near required.

Had a muse wake up while writing this believe it or not...

07-11-2008, 01:48 AM
What do you do to get in the mood?

When and where do you write?

What things you need or must have before you start?

Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin?

Music? Soundtracks? I NEED QUIET!

Anything else?

Usually, when I even have time to write, I force myself to sit down at my computer and read over the last little bit I wrote, or what I have to re-write, and hope for something good to come to me.

I write whenever I have time to, and in the only place that my computer ever is: my bedroom. I don't really need anything except for time to write. Not being in a cranky mood also helps ;) . I don't necessarily need music, but I usually do. Each project has it's own special soundtrack, for example one of my WIPs I have to listen only to Rush's A Farewell to Kings Album.

Hmm. I can't write when people in my house are upset or mad at something, it's incredibly distracting, and I can't be tired or it ends up being a bunch or garbled junk.

Clair Dickson
07-11-2008, 02:27 AM
What do you do to get in the mood?
The ideas piling up in my brain. Need to release them before my head explodes in a fantastical shower of blood and gray matter.

When and where do you write?
My best writing place is at my home computer. But, I'll write on any computer I'm at. Two of my jobs have me sitting in front of a computer, so I may as well use the time. Though funked up keyboards with weird not-quite-consistant-keys drive me crazy awful fast.

What things you need or must have before you start?
Diet Pepsi. Either cold and fresh or warm and flat. Cold flat Diet Pepsi is icky. And the beverage container must be sitting on a folded paper napkin/towel so it doesn't leave condensation rings or I'll get exceptionally distracted by them

Pen, pencil, paper, typewriter, computers, paper napkin?
Computer. Word-- preferrably Word2003. My thumbdrive with my stories on it. Napkin-- see above. Clean workspace not required.

Music? Soundtracks?
It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I'll listen to alt rock, sometimes streaming the "local" alt radio station on my computer b/c my radio doesn't pick it up very well. Sometimes I put on the TV with some documentary or something on in the background. Sometimes, I only want the sounds of keyboard clicks, my jetengine computer fan, and my commercial grade printer doing a self-check every hour or so.

Anything else?
Email must be checked. Along with my google reader and my must visit sites. I also have to know where I'm going in the next scene or else I'll get only two things written: Jack and Squat.

Barb D
07-12-2008, 01:33 AM
Living room couch, feet on coffee table, nice fast MacBook in lap. Whenever I don't have too bad of a migraine (or I can balance the drugs with not going to sleep.)

TV on if someone else is in the living room. (Right now DH is on his computer and watching CNBC at the same time. Usually DD8 has the Disney Channel on.) With 3 kids, it's rarely completely quiet. Music with no lyrics, or no music.

Interruptions to IM with my teenagers (even if they're home). Interruptions to snuggle the cat or the 8yo. Interruptions to sleep. Again. Migraines suck.

07-12-2008, 05:07 AM
I don't have a set place to write. If there's no one home I'll write on the couch in the living room. If I have a lot of research material that I need to spread out, I'll write on the kitchen table. Other than that I have an unused bedroom set up with research material plastered all over the wall and I write at my desk.
I generally begin writing first thing in the morning so before I start I must make myself a good hot cup of coffee. I sharpen all my pencils and put out a fresh sheet of lined paper. All those empty lines just make me want to fill them up!
No music. I write in absolute quiet. The only time I play anything at all is if I've thought of a piece that will accompany a scene then I play the music for that and think about how I'll write the scene.
Oh, and I ignore the phone.:D