30 Days of Dragons, Day 25-Things That Help Me Write

This post is part of my 30 Days of Dragons Series leading up to the release of my novel Dragon's Curse.

There are a lot of things that keep me going when I am writing. From things like drinks and snacks to sounds and music to just having an hour where the girls are occupied.

I thought for this entry I would list a few of my favorite writing things.

For starters there are soundscapes. For whatever reason, I cannot write in complete silence but at the same time things like television shows often distract me. The obvious answer is music, but I don't listen to music very often. I did find some awesome epic instrumental tracks, but I prefer nature sounds or background noise tracks.

I have a playlist of my favorites on youtube here.

If I am writing something I felt would have a particular sound to it, like a scene that takes place in the woods with crickets or by a campfire, sometimes I will search out videos with those exact sounds and listen as I go.

Now, while I'm a big coffee drinker, when writing in the evening (which is when I generally have the most kid free time), I find it is a little too caffeinated because eventually I do want to sleep. Tea, however, while it has a smidgen of caffeine, does not usually impede my  sleep abilities.

My favorites are both from Stash Tea.
I like their Christmas Morning black tea and Licorice Spice herbal tea.

I also don't mind a glass of red wine now and then, especially if I find myself over thinking. A big part of writing is just doing it, even if what you are writing doesn't feel particularly inspired after all.

I'm not endorsing drunkenness but a little wine to mellow oneself out never hurt the writing process.

Another thing I like to do is to look up pictures of landscapes or buildings to give myself a more concrete picture of what I'm trying to describe. I have a lot of these images pinned to my "Writing, Writing, Writing" pinboard.

Even writing fantasy you can draw from your own experience, be it in taking a walk through a quiet snowy woods or exploring a swampy  patch of countryside.

Of course, sometimes even with all that help the words don't come.

A trick is to distance yourself, go out for a walk or read something, give your mind a chance to rest. Or if your problem is with the story, have a side project to write on. My personal side project has been my "Choose your own adventure" story (and this blog). I will probably never finish it, but some times when my novel isn't working out I'll go add another chapter just to play around in a different world for awhile.

Willamette Valley Wonder Woman

linked at writer's blog hop


  1. Heidi, Thanks for sharing things that help you write. I've found music helpful too. Using pictures is an interesting concept that I'll have to try.

  2. Great to meet you Heidi,
    Janis www.janiscox.com

  3. Greetings, Heidi. Thanks for this interesting post. I hadn't thought of using pictures as a writing tool, but it makes sense. Will give it a try. Thanks!

    1. I'm not a very visual thinker. I think more abstractly, so it definitely helps me.

  4. Another great use for Pinterest. Thanks for the idea!!

  5. I found the idea of soundbites very interesting. I might try that...

    1. They have some awesome options on youtube, for just about everything you can imagine.

  6. Some really different and creative ideas. I'm not a visual thinker either, so I may have to try out the picture idea. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hmmmmm, food for thought! Thanks!!!!

  8. Learning that our minds all work in different ways..what a wonderful gift from God!!I may borrow your hemingway line...Brenda J Wood http://heartfeltdevotionals.com

  9. How influenced we are by our writing environment. The writers on this Blog Hop seem to be divided between music and silence. I for one like quiet for my creative writing. I liked your idea of taking inspiration from pictures. I look out the window and almost always find myself setting my scene to the current weather. I finished my novel BEING LENA LEVI last Christmas morning and, guess what, it ends on Christmas Day...

  10. I so laughed with your 'write drunk, edit sober' picture. Too funny.

    Donna Fawcett

    1. you can actually buy those on Etsy. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/223983781441737421/ But yeah, it is a favorite writing quote I like to throw around. Another is by Shannon Hale: I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.
      I think the point to both quotes is that it is okay to be imperfect as long as you are willing to improve upon it later. You can rewrite a bad chapter but not one that never got written (which is another quote, but I CANNOT remember who said it. Jodi Picoult? Maybe. . )


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