Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blog Hop Part 3: Getting "into the mood"

Continuing the blog hop on "the writer's process" from yesterday (exploring the question: How does my writing/work differ from others in the genre?) and the day before (What am I working on/writing?), today I'm tackling the question: How does my writing process work?
How does my writing process work?
How does my writing process work?
How does my writing process work?
How does my writing process work?

This is actually the fourth/last question in this particular blog hop questionnaire, but I feel like doing this one today, and who's to stop me? Answer: No one, because I'm sitting here at my home computer and there's no one peering over my shoulder as I pound out the words...

Basically, my writing process is pretty straightforward:
  • Sit down at "my station" (my home office, if I'm working from home, or a client office, if I'm stationed there)
  • Rev up the computer
  • Slide on computer glasses (effectively throwing everything but the screen, keyboard, and papers in the immediate vicinity "out of focus" ... which cuts down on visual distractions)
  • Check emails to be sure the world hasn't ended since my last session
  • Put my cell phone aside (but nearby, for any text/check-in needs)
  • Make sure that cuppa Joe is at hand
  • Plug in the noise reduction earphones and slide 'em on
  • Call up my Pandora stations (or, if for some reason, I can't access/use Pandora, I attach the earphones to my cell and call up my iTunes library)
  • Put hands on keyboard
  • Type
At  my home battle station, ready for action. Note fuzzy companion, snoozing off her "food coma," by window to left.
Of course, before all this happens, there is some requisite dithering around. For instance, this morning, I fed the cat (so she's sated and won't sit on my keyboard and glare at me accusingly for starving her), read the front section the newspaper, opened some windows downstairs for fresh air before the heat sets in.

Me? Sit on your keyboard? When have I ever done that?

All the time, I was thinking about this post (well, off and on, anyway), and how I might get started. I made a short list of things I need/want to do today, so as not to "get lost" and find myself at day's end, gnashing teeth over what I didn't do.

 For fiction writing, or any kind of writing, this overall process is pretty much the same.

For me, music is a key component. Sometimes, Pandora shuts off/leaves in a huff (with that plaintive "Are you still listening?" bubble floating on the screen). If I'm deep into writing, I don't even notice the music is gone. But, at least at the start, it helps me enter the process and "the zone." I created a variety of stations to choose from, depending on my mood and what kind of writing I'm doing, mostly (but not entirely) leaning toward classical and Celtic ("New Age") music. That said, I'll confess to a certain fondness for P!nk (who channels what I think of as the sort of "in your face" attitude that my protagonist, Inez Stannert, occasionally takes on). I captured the lineup of stations on that are on my list, just FYI, if you're interested. (DISCLAIMER: Not all of these are "mine." I have stations that I listen to with my spouse--Pink Floyd and Gabby Pahanui, anyone?--and my daughter--that's the Autechre station--etc.)

My list of Pandora stations... apologies for the raster effect!

Once I'm in the zone, I write, with inner editor off, if possible. (For fiction, this comes pretty easily. If I'm working on a piece for a client, I often have the political/technical parameters rumbling around in my brain at the same time, so it's not quite the headlong dash.)

Well, time to wrap this up and proceed to the next project. I can now tick "finish blog post" off my list of the day! Progress!

Tomorrow, I'll tackle the final blog hop question: Why do I write what I do?
Some of the necessities for "getting in the mood."

How does my writing process work?
How does my writing process work?

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