Writing Tips

Where, When, How?

Like figuring out how to write a story, learning what works best for you requires “when, where, how” as well.

Are you a writer who can write anywhere, anytime?

Do you have a particular routine that must be followed before putting words onto the page?

Or, can you write whenever time allows?

I used to be meticulous about my writing time and space, so much so, it often hindered my writing time because things weren’t “perfect.” As I got older and my schedule became more hectic, I had to decide how important my writing was to my happiness. What could I sacrifice in my routine?

Now, I can write whenever time and my energy allows. But what does my perfect routine look like?

When:

Mid-morning around nine. Just having finished breakfast, so my hunger doesn’t curb my productivity.

Where:

In my office at my adjustable standing desk. I prefer to be standing now to write. I often fidget, so being able to move around with my legs helps keep my mind focused and my hands remaining steady on the keys.

Ideally, my desk is spotless aside from necessities, like my coffee and possible writing notes. Usually, it’s a scattered mess because if I clean it right before writing, I will lose my focus.

My desk is right next to a window, and I always prefer the blinds to be open, so I can see the weather, especially if it’s a gloomy day. Usually, I am more productive because I don’t feel like I should be outside.

How:

A fresh black cup of coffee! Preferably Starbucks Italian Roast in my favorite Disney Magical Kingdom mug or black TWLOHA mug.

I prefer to use Pages to write, or if I’m working on a lighter piece, I use Google Docs to have the ability to use a different computer whenever time allows.

I must have my noise-canceling headphones on and playing the Peaceful Piano playlist on my Spotify to have full productivity.

My phone must be nowhere in sight. Preferably down a flight of stairs, so I won’t venture there in the middle to check a message.

Tools of the Trade:

From planning, to writing, to revising!

Index Cards – a must for me. I love to storyboard on my wall next to my desk.

Sharpie Pens – I am anal about how my pens write. I prefer Sharpie pens, always.

UNLESS, we are talking about colorful pens for editing. Then, I go with Playmate Ink Joy pens, more cost effective and they don’t bleed through the editing pages.

Noise-Canceling Headphones – My office is shared with my fiancé who plays videogames, and while he has his own headphones, that doesn’t mean it keeps his mouth from talking.

COFFEE! Always coffee.

Grammarly – my favorite for catching pesky mistakes!

Standing Desk with an Anti-Fatigue Mat. I LOVE my standing desk. I bought it secondhand, but it’s from Ikea with a crane handle to lift up and down. It’s really perfect because one of my jobs has me sitting quite often, so it’s perfect to come home to be able to write while standing. Naturally, the hardwood makes it difficult. So, with the anti-fatigue mat, I can write longer while my body remains more comfortable and at a better posture.

Two of my favorite writing books:

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Story Genius by Lisa Cron 

Please share with me your when, where, and how! What writing quirks do you have? What’s a necessity? Any special products you need or want for writing? I love hearing how different we all write.

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