Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Writer's Crutch

I write best barefoot. I know that now.

Each day, around 3 p.m., I slip out of my pumps, loafers or sling backs, prop my feet on a stand beneath my desk and will the butter to begin flowing through my fingertips and onto the computer screen in front of me.

Being barefoot helps keep me grounded. It gets my creative juices flowing.

I realized all that today. All because, today, I chose fashion over function.

I'm wearing t-strap sandals. Very festive. Yet a little hard to slip out of and back into in a flash. I'm trying to write and I'm realizing that the words aren't coming because my toes can't feel the cool plastic of my footstool.

It's funny the things that advance the writing process. One of my friends slips on huge headphones and blasts music to match the mood of her story while she writes. The result is prose that reads almost lyrically (trust me, I've read it).

Another friend of mine swears he doesn't have any writing rituals, but admits he finds a quiet corner away from everyone or writes from home because he hates to compose around people. That, and he never sits in a chair.

The rituals do the same thing for the writer that wearing lucky socks or refusing to wash a jock strap after a winning streak has for an athlete: it puts you in a positive state of mind. Whether or not these things have anything to do with your performance are irrelevant. You believe they do, so they help.

And they change over time. My ritual used to be to fold my leg up onto my chair and munch on pretzels while I wrote. That doesn't work so much anymore, since I wear skirts most of the time.

To take a page from my pastor, it's a way of speaking things into existence. We think these things help. We believe they do. We say they do (or at least, say it to ourselves). And so they do. Sure, I know I could write without these things, but if they help, why not?

So, I guess I'll have to throw protocol to the wind. If you happen to come to my desk and see my naked feet, don't be alarmed.

I'm just doing my job.

Do you have any rituals or habits that help you do your job?
Share them in the comments section.

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Posted by T Dot at 4:16 PM | link

Read or Post a Comment

My superiors would kill me if they knew this, but I do my best work AFTER I write on my own blog. If I have something "pressing" I want to write about, it's hard for me to focus on an assignment from my boss if I have a post inside me I'm trying to get out. Sounds bad, but it is what it is.

Posted by Anonymous @ 12:25 PM, August 02, 2007 #

My best stuff comes when I write it a second time. I discovered this after a computer crashed on me just as I was finishing a story. (Clearly, I neglected to hit "save.") After huffing and puffing, and telling my editor that I would need a few more minutes, I found that the second version I banged out was much better than the first.

So now, when my brain's feeling a little muddy, I lay out what I can, scrap it, and start over fresh.

Of course... this is always productive. Especially on the days when I have a deadline every half-hour.

Posted by Blogger Duck @ 3:24 PM, August 02, 2007 #

Sometimes, my best writing comes when I write at home or away from the office. Of course, most times, I can't write at home. But it's all about getting into a zone where you're comfortable and you're writing from the story in your head and not in your notebook.

Posted by Blogger PopCultman @ 5:12 PM, August 02, 2007 #

I write best to Miles Davis's Bitches Brew album. Don't ask me why, but the words just flow when it's playing in the background...

Posted by Blogger Aaron Morrison @ 7:51 PM, August 04, 2007 #

The matchless message ;)

Posted by Anonymous Basic Blackjack @ 11:14 AM, June 08, 2011 #
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