My Writing Habits
I am a pantser when it comes to writing. That is a pretty set in stone writing habit for me. I am not an organized person. I have my general plotline, my world, and my character and then it is all flying by the seat of my pants. It is how I roll. And it works for me. For one novel I wrote, I tried an outline, but I am not that organized that I can work up all that before writing. I am simply not an organized person. So I’ll get right into it from the vision in my head and jot down details as I go along.
This is as neat as my desk gets. Right now it looks like a paper explosion. I work in a somewhat chaotic mess that is somewhat organized… to me. AND that is a writing habit because I’m not organized. I like a little clutter and it works for me. I write in the office all the time. I have a laptop but I get annoyed writing on it and anywhere else. I like a controlled environment. I control the light. I control the noise; music or no music. And I have everything I need on hand. From snacks in a bowl by the keyboard to numerous notebooks for novels I am working on.
I use thin notebooks for each novel. They are just the perfect size to jot down ideas and things I need to remember about the work. This writer habit helps me keep track of all the ideas that occur to me while I am writing to make sure everything ends up consistent in the story.
However, I also use WorkFlowy. It is a great little program that is simple in design and perfect for outlining. I may be a pantser but I have concepts I need to keep track of. Character outlines. Worldbuilding facts. And where I am going with the plot. It is the perfect program for that.
I am braindead in the morning and only half-conscious during the day. At night? That is when my brain and creativity wake up. So I am a midnight writer. I have tried other times of the day. It just doesn’t work. I can and do blogging during the day, but I do not work on my novels. That is for the ‘zone’. This is an established writing habit because I’ve had insomnia since I was a kid and I have always been a night owl. It is just the time that works for me.
I can write with a migraine. It is a great pain distraction. I have migraines daily or almost daily. And fibromyalgia. And when you have chronic pain you find distractions for the pain you can never really treat. Reading is another awesome pain distraction. I know people who cannot read in pain, but I love to read and so I will, pain or not. Unless it is high pain levels, then you just can’t focus. I only write poetry when I am in pain… that is something I cannot explain, but it is when I am inspired to. Pain is madness and so you can get out the emotion in poetry.
I don’t talk about my writing. I certainly do not let anyone read something that isn’t done. or talk about a work in progress. Not because it is a secret but because I am uncomfortable with it. If people I know read my work when it is all done, that is cool. But I am uncomfortable with compliments on it. Hell, I am uncomfortable with compliments in general. Reviews from strangers I do love. I love it when people get into the worlds I write and enjoy the journey. But with people I know? Well, I rarely talk about my writing. And this writing habit is spawned from imposter syndrome and a fear no one will like my work.
For me, inspiration tends to come late at night when I am trying to sleep or from ‘adventure’ dreams I have. I tend to think a lot while trying to sleep. Not worry. But just think about what I am working on or could be working on. The idea is to sort of lull myself to sleep. But a hell of a lot of ideas come from doing that. And this writing habit is a real product of my insomnia. I have to daydream to sort of get my brain sleep ready. And a lot of stuff comes from the time frame. And then even more for the crazy fantasy dreams, I have.
We all have writing habits. Whatever works works. Except for being shy about talking about our work. If you, like me, have that issue one of these days we are going to have to get comfortable with this.