Friday, August 1, 2008

Where to Write

I have discovered a wonderful program on the Internet called "Book Bites for Kids" with Suzanne Lieurance on blogtalkradio ( Each weekday, Suzanne broadcasts a half hour call-in show, featuring a children's author or allowing writers to provide details of their upcoming events. As I have always valued author talks, this program provides an opportunity to hear other writers talk about their craft and their creations without incurring exorbitant travel costs. It is a treat to hear other perspectives from established writers!

Most authors on the show discuss their writing routine. It is encouraging to know that there is so much variety. For myself, I attempt to write during the summer at least five days a week. There have been some days that were complete write-offs when, for one reason or another, the inspiration was lacking. I have heard many authors say, "Write every day." I differ on this point. When I have a strong sense that my mind and heart are not in it, I feel a self-imposed forced writing session would be a negative experience. Would I produce something for which I would be proud and excited? Possibly, but not likely. As I view writing as a passion, I do not find it can be contained through discipline. Parameters are helpful but a rigid schedule is not.

Another point in which I vary from many writers is that I do not have a set place for writing. My home office is the most common site in spite of the clutter. (See my previous posting, Does Neatness Stifle Creativity?) As I mature, I seem to be getting more restless. I like to work in twenty-five minute chunks and then take a break. Technically, the break should be about five minutes, but it often stretches longer. So be it. I also cart my laptop and writing pad to different locations over the course of a productive writing day: home office, patio, public library, one of four coffeehouses in the community that I like. I may only write a short time in one locale, but ideas percolate as I drive or move to the next place. I like the writing to breathe for a period before I glance at it again and then continue. I also will shift from one project to another during the day. (Blog writing is one option when I want to write, but I am not ready to look at my developing novel, my short story project, an essay or a picture book manuscript.) I go where I feel the energy.

I guess what I am saying is I like having choices about what to write, when to write and where to write.

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