Sunday, October 12, 2008


Where do you write?
I don't just mean physically, but where does your writing flow from, too?

Do you need an empty, clean office with absolute silence? Do you need a bustling cafe with lots of characters, errh, patrons around you?
Do you have a ritual you need to go through before really getting in the zone?

As we're all gearing up for NaNo, cracking necks and sharpening pens, cleaning crumbs off the keyboard and taking notes or daydreaming (or both!), one thing is perfectly clear: all writers need a space.
A space to write. Space to dream and think. A space to jot down ideas safely from prying eyes and destructive hands, claws, feet.
But above all, a head space where story ideas are allowed to bloom and become actualised.

Me, I can't write at home. i get distracted with everything there is to do and with things that are fun or are clamoring for attention. I'm easily distracted. Which makes it ironic that I write best where there are the most distractions. Outside. in cafes. In food courts.
I work best when I feel like part of a crowd. Blending in. Drifting through. Absorbing the stories around me.

Where will you be spending most of your time in November?
Me, I'll be in the two big food courts in the Melbourne CBD, as well as Singapore and Saigon.


Diane said...

Welcome to the blog, Kiki!

Because I have to squeeze writing around my full-time dayjob, I have taught myself to write anywhere, and in the shortest amounts of time possible if that's what's needed.

So I write while waiting for my partner to pick me up from work, I write at the doctor's surgery (note: don't write about sky-diving when you're waiting to have your blood pressure measured), I write during my teabreaks and lunchbreaks.

I've taken this to the extreme. The first draft of my last short story (Are you a real person?) was written during a heavy metal gig. The bands were horrible and I needed to distract myself from them. After that, I knew I could write anywhere if I set my mind to it.

I do a lot of pre-writing in the car while I'm driving. Love sorting through storylines and thinking about the characters while I'm driving. Makes the time go quicker.

But at home, I can get distracted. Especially by all the emails and the wonderful internet. So I have to do word sprints and promise myself rewards for writing or editing however much I needed to.

Hopefully my new Alphasmart will sort out the internet distraction for this Nanowrimo (as soon as the cable arrives - had to buy that from the UK) because for this Nano, I want to write more than the 50ks, I'd like to finish the first draft.

Diane said...

Question for Kiki: does writing in a crowd ever make you feel uneasy that people might be watching or even worse reading?

I know I used to feel really weird trying to write when I was on a crowded train.

I think I'm over it now but then again I don't catch trains anymore?

And I can write sex scenes while I'm at work so it must be okay. Although it feels strange to write a sex scene during a teabreak and then take a phone call from a customer.

Sandie Hudson said...

Hi Kiki,

I second Diane's welcome, it's great to see how others approach their writing. Plus it is great having new input on the blog. Thank you and all the girls that agreed to help out.

As far as my writing goes, for me it depends on what I'm working on, if it's a new MS I have to be at home on my own with no distractions. I need to be able to focus on just my characters and what they are telling me the first few chapters. As I get to know them, then I can write anywhere. I have note pads and pencils in my bag all the time.

If we are going on a long trip I take my laptop with me and write while Hubby drives. I've even stopped in the middle of shopping to write things down. I wrote a whole scene one day while I did my grocery shopping once. Arrived home with only half the things I needed, but had a great scene. LOL.


Diane said...

LOL, Sandie that's a classic. You may not have been able to prepare the recipe you wanted because you were missing the ingredients, but at least you had the ingredients of a good scene. Cool!

When the muse speaks, you have to pay attention.

Tina C said...

Hey Kiki

Good to see you blogging with this group.

I don't understand how anyone can actually write in a cafe, or on a train - I need my own space around me. I can edit in the car when at tennis or soccer waiting for the boys at sports, but not write.

Writing is done at home, at my desk.

Yes, the cat distracts me sometimes when he tries to sit on my keyboard for a fuss, and the washing machine that beeps to tell me its finished, or I would forget to hang out the clothes, but hey - that's just life, and it must fit in somewhere too.

Sometimes I will take my laptop out onto the deck, and write sitting at the outside table, where I can see the canal and the boats, but I tend to be a creature of habbit and rather use my imac at my desk.

Nice discussion.

Bye 4 now

Kiki said...

It's really interesting to read what everyone needs to write.

Diane, I'm not worried about anyone reading what I write. people don't tend to approach me in public, and I have illegible handwriting anyway. ^_^
But you know, what's the worst that could happen? They're interested? great, they can buy your book.
They make fun of you? Awesome, villain material.
They try to get you to pay attention to them? Go back to your writing and pretend you can't hear them.

I have the sneaky suspicion that people who like to write at home have nice homes and/or nice setups. Can anyone confirm or deny my theory?

Monique Wood said...

Hey everyone,

I write at home on my laptop, purely because I have two kids who require my attention, and I write as the TV is blaring!

I prefer the peace and quiet of my office, but I'll write wherever I can, whenever I can. I wrote notes in between a gym sessions once!

Thanks for a great post, Kiki.

Eleni Konstantine said...

Hey Kiki,

Great 'first' person and thought provoking too ;)
Well I write mainly at my computer at home - having said that, I do have my handy notebook for cafes, food courts. And I have an EeePC so I have also done some work in front of the TV - it's yet to make the maiden voyage outside the home! Probably because I'm not used to having it with me.

And my house can provide enough distractions true - but I also need to get up from the computer and so I use the 'breaks' to do bits and pieces around the home . Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to get any neater! LOL!

Kiki said...

Eleni, how are you liking the Eeepc?
I've been thinking about getting one as I don't really want a full laptop (unless I could afford an Apple), but I'm not quite sure yet...
How does it compare to your notebook?

Eleni Konstantine said...

Oh Kiki, if only I could also afford an Apple notebook.... *sigh* I've only had the EeePC for a short time, and haven't used it as frequently as I would like. I have small hands so sometimes I even find the keyboard a little small and getting used to a different layout. But I think it's practice really.

If there are any stores that sell them near you, I would recommend you checking it out first. I've heard of others who preferred the size of the Alphie than the eeePC.

What I like about it though is that it has word, excel, games, and can access the internet if i want it to. so basically a mini PC. And it's cheaper than a normal laptop too! Hope that helps...