Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blog Chain: Writerly Habits


Hi all! Today's my turn to write about weird writerly habits. It's time to confess.

1. I feel very uncomfortable using my laptop when it's not plugged in. I fear the world will implode if the battery actually runs down to zero.

2. I read things backwards. Magazines, in particular. Often the last few paragraphs I've written before I realize it's insane and I need to read like a normal human. I believe this is the manifestation of some inner desire to be left-handed or something.

3. I don't need a special place to write. I can write in a coffee shop, in bed, on the floor, or in a car (waiting for the bookstore to open but still using the free Wi-fi as I wait. Hey, I'm gonna buy some hot tea from the cafe in five minutes, so why not?).

4. I can't eat and write. Perhaps I need my brain to eat food. I don't know. But I'll eat before, and I'll after, but never during. Not even chocolate (I can hear the Luke Skywalker-like screams right now—"THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!")

5. I write best crumpled up into a small ball. Criss-cross, applesauce, one leg up, one tucked under, but hardly ever lady-like in a chair. Can't do it. Apparently my creativity is wired to work only when the knees are bent at extreme angles.

There you have it. That's me when I write. So what weird, writerly habits do you have?

Remember to take a minute to check out last week's post by Laura Diamond!. Next week will be Danyelle Leafty, and the week following, Zoe Courtman!

50 comments:

Jai Joshi said...

I can't write unless my laptop is plugged in either. It's cos I'm so irritated when the battery runs out and I have to reboot.

I don't eat while I write either. Can't. Need to concentrate on the words and food gets in the way.

When I'm writing long hand I scrunch up in a ball. It's like I need the security of my own body.

This is weird, you and I, it seems, are similar in some fundamental ways.

Jai

Rayna M. Iyer said...

We have very similar writing habits. I need to have my laptop plugged in, but because I don't want to have to deal with the thing running out of power. I can write pretty much anywhere. I find it much easier not to write sitting down properly on a chair.
AND I ALWAYS READ BACKWARDS TOO.

But we are not twins - I can eat and write!

Kat Harris said...

I can write without eating, but the words flow easier for me if I have a Jolly Rancher or Twizzler keeping my mouth busy.

Vicki Rocho said...

I hear you on the battery thing. I need a new battery. Mine only lasts at best about 90 minutes. I'd LOVE 8 hours, but I probably won't ever spend that kind of cash, I'd settle for 4 hours. That'd be enough to get me to relax and WRITE.

Candyland said...

OMG I need my laptop plugged in too! It's an insane obsession, fear of the computer shutting down mid sentence.

Mason Canyon said...

There is something about having to have to laptop plugged in to write. I can eat and write but I usually just do a draft of what I want to say because 9 out of 10 times something will get on the paper (never use my laptop when eating).

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

lbdiamond said...

Ha! Knees bent at odd angles, yeah, me too. Totally hear you on the battery thing; mine will shut off without warning, so I GOTTA keep it plugged in. :D

Faith said...

Ooh I do the weirdy bent angles thing too, but it's not just when writing... it tends to happen no matter what chair I'm in. It's just not comfortable to sit up straight and "proper"!

Francine said...

Hi,

Ha ha I'm with you on thumbing backwards through magazines etc., and can't eat whilst using laptop! The thought of chocolate and crumbs on the apparatus would do my head in - writing apparel like other things needs to be spotless. I hate muck and grime in front of me, and food is best served on table prepared for that very purpose!

Have to confess to favourite summer place for writing - upstairs study with large sit-on-eat balcony outside overlooking east garden. And in winter that of kitchen with "snug" corner, or the sitting room in front of roaring log fire. A comfy chair is a must, and always the laptop on wooden tray to prevent its overheating!

When and if the battery runs out (unplugged) I know I'm late in walking the dog across the fields.

best
F

DL Hammons said...

This list of your "quirks" made me smile.

I guess my only quirk is that I always wear my baseball cap turned backwards when I'm seriously writing. :)

Joanne said...

I don't eat when I write either. Now coffee, that's another story. I can drink coffee all day and write. I don't, but I could ;)

Amanda J. said...

I feel best when I'm plugged in, too, and I never let my battery get to 0% I'm afraid of what might happen...

I write in a bunch of places, but usually not around people unless I have headphones, because I can't concentrate with them around otherwise.

I can't eat and write either. I can stop and take a few bites and check Twitter but cannot actually eat and continue typing.

I too, write in awkward/weird positions. Most often on my bed or in a large chair in the living room with my laptop in my lap in some way, form, or fashion.

That's what, 4 out of 5? You're not that weird! :P Thanks for sharing!

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

How do you read backwards! Aw, I love your list :) I have to be either scrunched up in a wierd ball or stretched fully out on the bed, I cannot write sitting in the position that they suggest is best for the back and body. It feels weird if my feet are on the floor when I write. I also need a straw in my drink. I can't be bothered to pick it up in a heated marathon of writing lol.

Renae said...

I love your writerly habits. I can't eat while I write either and I have to have my laptop plugged in as well. Mainly because the battery is crap and needs to be replaced!

JEM said...

Oh, I love it! And these aren't as weird as you think they are, or I'm just as weird as you, because I have a lot of these same habits.

Corey Schwartz said...

Ha, ha. Such a cute list, Lydia. i never write on a lap top, but I am quite certain if I did, it would need to be plugged in at all times! And I never sit with my feet on the floor. Doesn't matter if I am writing, reading, or eating in a restaurant. They are always curled under me.

storyqueen said...

I think you are my writing twin!!!

Everything matches!

Shelley

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Haha, that's so funny, cuz I'm the SAME. WAY. about my laptop battery!! It's like a little security blanket, plugged into the wall. And I wish I could write anywhere! I'm gonna work on that. (And I can't write and eat, either, lol). Loved this, Lydia!!

Christina Lee said...

LOL- it IS hard to eat and write!

Tamika: said...

I can't eat and write either, before I know it my food is ice cold.

I love writing on post-it notes~ even more than I clicking away on the computer.

Abby said...

I can't do the first, either... I always get scared that I'll run out of battery and stuff... even if I'm only going to be somewhere for 2 hours and I need my laptop I bring my charger.

I read things backwards, too. After a while I realize that things aren't making sense...

Carol Kilgore said...

I don't need a special place to write either. And sometimes I read backwards, too. Don't have a problem eating or drinking while I write. But sometimes I cannot listen to music while I do.

Crimey said...

I can't write in one place. I tend to need to move every twenty minutes or so.

I also need total silence sometimes. It depends on the scene/chapter, but I can't always write with background noise (tv, radio, talking).

Jolene said...

YES! I hate writing with no plug-in! I check the stupid battery constantly!
Also, I have never, never written anything constructive in a "normal" at the computer position.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Lydia, I too need to plug the laptop when I write. I can't write while I eat. The postures I sit in are worthy of joining the Yoga manuals, but maybe these postures are responsible for my creativity.

Jemi Fraser said...

I often write cross legged too - and I also have battery paranoia! But I CAN eat chocoalate pretty much any time :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's so funny. I need my laptop plugged in, too!
I can't eat and write either. I can read and eat, but not write. :)

KarenG said...

All the opposites of yours! btw did you know that always operating your laptop plugged in is what ruins the battery? So that it HAS to always be plugged in?

Nicole Murray said...

I can write anywhere and need my laptop plugged in too. The rest makes sense to me. Aside from the food or drink items. I always have to start with coffee and keep drinking other liquids. The bathroom brakes become my breathers during a writing session. And I like background sound. Music, TV, other people. But no one can stand/sit behind me or I get distracted and annoyed.

Melody said...

OMGOSH THERE'S SOMEONE ELSE WHO DOESN'T EAT WHILE THEY WRITE!!! I feel less abnormal now! :) (Nope, not even chocolate...)

And yeah, my creativity must have something to do with bent knees, too. I most often tend to sit on my left foot, which does nothing for an old ankle injury.

Weird thing #?: I can't write stories (blogs, yes, books, no) serenaded by music with lyrics. Can't. It's distracting. I only listen to classical or soundtracks or Kaki-King-esque guitar when I write.

Krispy said...

It also makes me nervous when my laptop isn't plugged in, but I find it motivates me to not procrastinate as much. Haha.

I can't really have people around when I'm writing. Like people I know. Yeah.

Karen Lange said...

Okay so I can eat and write sometimes, which is not necessarily a good thing. How many calories are expended while typing? Probably not enough to cancel things out. My walking routine saves the day. Or excess weight gain:)

Maria Zannini said...

I read backwards too.

So you're not left handed? I started out as a lefty, but Catholic nuns forced me to be a righty. Not their fault. That was how they did things back then.

To this day, I still have to do things left handed before I can do them right handed.

Heather said...

#3, 4, & 5 are so me! I get too distracted if I try to snack and write. I kind of sit sideways on the couch with my legs half under me. Oddly, it's comfortable! And I can and do write everywhere! I take a notebook with me and hand write everything first.

j.m. neeb said...

Lydia, I read magazines backwards, too. I've done this for years and it only occurred to me on Saturday as to why... It's on account of all the ads they put in the front.

At least, that's why I do it nowadays. Once upon a time, I used to read Sports Illustrated a lot and was particularly fond of Rick Reilly's column... which was featured on the last page. I thought it was usually funny, so it would draw me in right away. :)

aspiring_x said...

i'm seeing a correlation between strange sitting positions and creativity... do you suppose there could be any scientific foundation for such a thing... blood supply? increased core body temperature? i don't know... medical monday?

Slamdunk said...

Great stuff.

I have never really thought about it, but I seldom do serious writing without my laptop power cord. Without it, I feel constrained--like a timer will ding in 60 minutes so I had better get whatever done.

On second thought, maybe operating on battery would help me become more efficient.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Ditto everything except number 5...I like to have my legs stretched out and propped up on an ottoman, sofa or extra patio chair.

WritingNut said...

Ohhh, I'm exactly the same with #2 and #3. I was beginning to think maybe something was wrong with me because I didn't have a "special" place to write!

Susan R. Mills said...

We all have our weird deals, don't we? I write in the garage during the summer because my kids are home and I can't find any other quiet place. It works for me, so who cares.

Rena said...

Those are interesting. I'm the same way with a lot of them. I can use my laptop without it being plugged in, but I don't like to because it's not as bright. And like you, I can write anywhere.

Alesa Warcan said...

Hmm... That's interesting.

I guess insofar as I can claim to be a writer, the weirdest writing thing I have is that I find writing easy, tedious, and awkward at the same. But I love having written, telling stories and entertaining. I'd just rather do it by mentally projecting my thoughts. ;j

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm there with you on one and two but not eating when you write?? AAAHH. Have to have my snacks close by.
And I can't write if my laptop isn't on my lap in my favorite family room chair:)

Samantha Bennett said...

I can't sit in a chair all ladylike either! Words won't come that way. I'm either on a bed or couch when I write. :)

Munk said...

I have no difficulty writing while unplugged.
I need quiet.

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

Since I write on my laptop, I don’t eat or drink while writing. Once accident is all it takes to learn that lesson. I’ll say no more on that subject.

I move as I write by which I mean I write then pick up my laptop and move to a new location and write some more and so on.

Phoenix said...

My laptop has to be charging as well. I think that's because it's died on me while I was writing mid-sentence and no, it did not save that entire last paragraph.

Lesson learned.

Um... I check the last few pages of books I'm interested in to see if they have a happy ending because if they don't then I don't want to read it because there's too many sad endings in life already.

Yeesh.

Heather Taylor said...

I too get very nervous about my laptop without the charger in it. What if the power goes out and I'm down to 28% charged? With no knowing how long it will be until the power comes on? The thought KILLS me.

Alexis Hallum said...

Lydia,
This made me laugh! Hmmm. I don't know if this is considered wierd but I write best when I have coffee in hand. I also like to write in the car, on long drives.

Danyelle said...

I like to have mine plugged in too. :)
*grin* I can't eat and write either. I end up getting making a mess. >.<

 
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