View Full Version : Where and when to write...
August 11th, 2002, 08:30 AM
Hello, folks. Long time, no see. I got sidetracked by various events in my life, then lost my password. I'm glad I found my way back, though.
I was reading Barry B. Longyear's Science Fiction Writer's Workshop I last week and was amused by his account of his first office in the back of an H & R Block office. He'd try to write while nosy strangers (and their kids) would wander in, ask stupid questions, and fiddle with his typewriter. Longyear was saying--and I agree with him--that the ideal place to write (an isolated cabin in the woods with nobody around for miles) is something we probably will never see. It's a fantasy.
With that in mind, where and when do you write? Have you got an inner sanctum off-limits to everyone, or do you just cope with the bustle of everyday life? Mine's sort of a compromise. I've got the computer set up in my room, but still have family members poking their heads in, traffic zooming past on the rural highway outside, and so forth. My time is usually in the evenings after work, though sometimes I'm so drained I can't write very much.
I thought that by exchanging ideas on this subject, those of us who are having trouble finding the right time and place to write might get an idea or two.
August 11th, 2002, 11:56 AM
I usually write at 4:45 or 5:00 in the afternoon, on everyday of the regular week. I take breaks on the weekend.
August 11th, 2002, 05:22 PM
I need somewhere that allows me to shut-out the world... Preferably with a door... That locks.
I have a 3 year old son who has no respect for "Leave Daddy alone."
Having said that, I carried a note book (old fashioned kind made of paper, not IBM's microchip version!!!) around with me when I went travelling. As I was inspired by a place or an idea came out of nowehere, I'd jot it down. I came back from six months travelling with conversations between characters, action sequences, ideas, plots and complete chapters sometimes. These might have been written in crappy little bungalows in Thailand, on planes, on trains, on the beach in Australia and once, I even jotted down an idea looking over Rangitoto, a volcano in New Zealand.
In an old job, I had little to do, so I completed about ten short stories and most of a novel length ms!!!
I guess take inspiration wherever you can get it...
Anyone wake up in the middle of the night and just have to write down that idea?
August 11th, 2002, 06:19 PM
Because, historically, I've had to snatch writing time wherever I can find it, I write almost anywhere. I always carry a notebook with me and write on the tube (London Underground for those of you wot don't know London) whenever I can get a seat. First I was very self conscious, now I couldn't care less though I think the illegibility of my hand writing (I'm an untidy left-handed writer, add that to a moving tube car and I think you can catch the idea...) has something to do with me not being bothered with the inevitable out-of-the-corner-of-the-eye brigade.
But I also deliberately go out on my writing days and work in coffee shops, pubs, cafes, the park, anywhere to break up the monotony of sitting in front of the PC.
What I find is that when transferring written notes onto the PC I do an automatic first edit and can discard rubbish, expand on good ideas, fill in gaps etc.
Don't get me wrong, I still do a great deal of work direct on to the PC but I reckon about half a novel is first drafted in my little blue A5 notebooks...
I write something almost every day. On the way to work, the way home, waiting for friends, one day at the weekends. It all keeps the work ticking over.
Oh, and Juzzza... yes I do and that's why there's always paper and pen at my bedside.
August 11th, 2002, 08:16 PM
By mine as well, NOM. I even keep pen and a little pad in the pickup in case I think of something interesting. My job is a production job, so if inspiration strikes it's usually just a sentence or two. But that's enough.
For full-blown writing, though, I've got to have a little quiet. I know there are those who can sit down in a cafe and crank out the tales, but I am not one of those gifted folk.
August 12th, 2002, 01:34 AM
I find that leaving the country for four months and isolating myself in tropical paradise works very well for me.
I like to set up my computer next to my bed and write from the same position I sleep in.
August 12th, 2002, 02:10 AM
That isolated cabin thing reminds of Stephen King's Misery :)
Since I have yet to get my first 'real' job, I have the luxury of being able to write morning, day and night. So a few hours a day usually in my room on my PC, the only place to write. Also, I've got a million pieces of paper with notes I'm slowly putting inot files on my computer.
August 12th, 2002, 03:21 AM
I snatch time on the machine, when and where I can.
Often as I go through the daily routine I plot and plan the next scene or run through dialogue.
In other words I day dream :D (old age does have it's up side :p)
Though I try not to do this while driving :rolleyes:
As I only work part time and there is a part of the day when my eldest is at college, youngest at high school and my life partner working *g*. I then settle down to write for an hour or so. Or like now when everyone else in the house is still asleep. (all on holiday this week).
But often I tend to browse through the forums I frequent instead of writing *sigh*
But at the moment I have no work "in progress" The Hat Man" is just in it's final stage of grooming before setting out on it's great adventure over the hills and back again to the publishers.
August 12th, 2002, 04:22 AM
weherever, whyenever. I got my laptop with me always, and when I feel like: "ooh, I got an idea!" i whip it out, and start bashing away at the keyboard...
And as I say, I have no worries about where I write, I erad through it later, and edit it...
August 12th, 2002, 04:24 AM
Gabador, your post is great, especially if you read it to the Shakira tune...:D
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