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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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

13 comments:

  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.

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

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  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!

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

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

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

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

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  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!

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

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  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

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  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...

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

    Donna Fawcett
    www.donnafawcett.com

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    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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