Monday, September 7, 2009


I thought it would be interesting to know more about everyone's personal writing habits.  So this week, have at it.  Tell me what your quirks are, and we'll see if we aren't as weird as we seem.

1) I cannot write at home.  I just can't do it.  "Home" encompasses everywhere I have to sleep (so, dorm room too).  It becomes a concern for me where I can go next to write.  I feel weird going to the same cafes, so I'm always on the lookout for a new place.

2) The smell of coffee stimulates my imagination.  I learned in psychology that the part of your brain that processes smells is connected to the part that processes memory.  So the sense of smell can bring back memories better than any other sense.  I don't necessarily have to drink coffee (although that helps too), but I like being in a place that smells like coffee.  The smell of books (ie library) helps too.  Borders, with its mixture of books and coffee, is the ideal place for me to get my write on.  It also lacks free wi-fi, which is great, because I can't get distracted.

3) The only way I can get through my academic texts is by making up stories while I read them. It sounds kind of hard, but when it's history, it really isn't.  In fact, I get bursts of inspiration for my novel while I'm doing homework  Like when I'm reading an article on the trend of the modern family pre-Industrial Revolution in northwest Europe, I can wonder about what it was like to live back then?  What kind of tales did they have to tell?  Setting?  Description?  It all leads to great fodder for writing.  You do what you have to in order to survive the massive busy work professors assign.  For me, that involves making the texts into some kind of story. Everyone likes reading stories, right?

That's it.  Can't wait to see what everyone else has to say.  Happy Labor Day!

Monday: me


  1. OOh, this is very interesting. I love writing in Starbucks or a bookstore if I have the opportunity, but I end up doing my best work in my fave recliner late, late at night after the family is in bed. That's my sad reality.

  2. I think I've mentioned this before, but I go through phases where I absolutely cannot write anything on a computer and have to revert to a notebook for a first draft instead. It goes in cycles every few weeks - it didn't happen much during the summer, but now that I'm back in school, it's starting to pick up again. Not to mention I go through phases where I can't write in a certain notebook and I have to have the one notebook and pen, otherwise it just doesn't feel right.

    Also just a weird little writing quirk of mine: if I want to start writing something new, something I'm not seriously planning on writing but I just want to do for the fun, I absolutely have to do it on paper otherwise it won't come out because I consider using the Word document as a "waste." Totally weird, I know.

  3. I did the same thing in college – the creating stories thing. It was best when it was my creative writing course and it writing was actually my homework! Great idea!