Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Location, location, location

I’m more than halfway through my new YA due December 1--actually, I hope to finish it on Halloween. Scary! I’m not writing any faster than I usually do. I’m not sure I’d be able to speed the process up if I tried. When I “write,” it’s about 10% pen to paper and 90% staring into space.

What I have done in order to meet this deadline is cut out all the procrastination, such as blogging *cough*. Also, I can’t have my regularly scheduled nervous breakdown for this book. There’s no time! And I need to play every trick I know on myself to keep myself from getting blocked.

One of my favorite tricks is changing the location where I write. I write a lot at home, of course, but there are several problems with this. There’s a computer with the Internet on it. There’s housework (and contrary to popular belief, I do do some of this). Lately when my husband has the day off at home between business trips, he feels compelled to fire up the power drill and/or the bandsaw. But most importantly, I’m staring at the same four walls I’ve been staring at for the last few books. A change of scenery is an instant brainstorm for me.

So, besides my daily jog (I’m training for the Vulcan Run on November 4, and I’m up to 4 miles; again, *cough*), I try to get out of the house while my son is at school, armed only with a printout of my writing so far, a pen and notebook, and my iPod to ward off the loud conversations and Frank Sinatra songs that sometimes prove distracting at Starbucks.

The Starbucks in Vestavia Hills has figured out who I am. I’ve been there enough in the past few weeks that I’m a “regular.” They finally asked if I’m a writer, and I had to tell them the truth about my book, since I discovered when I was a teenager that I’m a really bad liar. So, always preferring the incognito, I have switched to the Starbucks in Homewood. I’ve also had success writing at the Vestavia Hills library and at Central Park in Homewood, watching the skateboarders (and, I’m sure, getting a reputation as “creepy writer lady”). All of this may shift several more times before Halloween. I wrote a large portion of MAJOR CRUSH while working out on the elliptical machine at the YMCA.

Where do you write?


Christy said...

I totally agree that changing locations can help. One of my favorite places to plot is while I'm driving. There's just something about the monotony of the open road that makes my characters come out and talk to me. However, I've found it somewhat difficult to type on my alphasmart while driving. I can barely manage to apply mascara, talk on the cell and drink my coffee. Yes, I'm kidding!

I've tried B&N and have had some sucess there. We have a nice wooded back yard, so I often sit on the porch, but when my dogs see a leaf move and start barking, well, there goes that.

So far, my best place is in front of my computer in my office. And I do a whole lot of staring out the window -- probably about 98% of the time. 1% is thinking about whether there's chocolate in the house and the other 1% is actually writing.

Carla Swafford said...

I pretty much trudge away at my desk at home. Considering it's in the living room with our big screen TV, I have lots of distractions. Thus the headphones. But that doesn't keep Spider Solitaire away. Or the internet. Or emails. Or blogging. Agh!

But I was proud of myself the other day, I HAND WROTE two pages (equals to one typed page)in 30 minutes at work during lunch. It was awesome. Been a long time since I did that.

Okay. Home has noise. Work has noise. Sixty people in a small one floor building - you get my drift. I can write anywhere as long as no one talks to me. Hadn't figured out how to write while I talk yet.

I wish I could write my story as fast as I talk. Then I could write a 90,000 word story in a week. Wouldn't that be cool?

Like everyone so far, 98% dreaming, 1% fussing at myself for wasting time, .5% editing, .5% writing new stuff.

jennifer echols said...

You know, I wrote pretty much a whole book long-hand on my lunch hour. I was working at the Montgomery Advertiser, and I would go sit on the steps of the Capitol, eat a peanut butter sandwich, and write. I even got to the point that I was kind of disappointed on the days we all went out to a restaurant together, because I missed that writing time I'd gotten used to!

Deborah Matthews said...

I pretty much work at my desk. Sometimes I take a hard copy to edit into the living room. Of course, when I worked for the state, I was always doing something on my lunch hour. I haven't tried the coffee shop at the BAM here yet.

Barb C. said...

I mainly write in the computer room or in the living room. My ideas pop in my head at the strangest times. I've learned to take a small notebook to church. Just this morning, part of a love scene came to me during the service so I'm up in the choir loft writing like a mad woman before the scene leaves my brian. I have no clue what the preacher spoke about this morning...oh well...I got a good scene out of it...LOL

Barb C. said...

Man...I meant "brain" instead of "brian"...I so need to go to church and listen to the preacher tonight...

Carla Swafford said...

Hey, I like the "brian" thought myself. LOL!