Today I have the pleasure of having T.G. Ayer (Tee) hanging out with me at Parchment Place. Tee is a good friend of mine, a fellow kiwi (with a few african accents), and an amazing writer with a hell of an imagination. I have been hanging out with this woman for a couple of years now, and have treasured every moment.
Tee is a machine when it comes to pumping out books – and here she talks about the little things that keep her focused. I must admit – I do share a few of the same quirks – and I have no doubt that many other writers out there in the world also have their own little writing habits in varying degrees of severity. It would be interesting to hear from you all to find out what they are, and what gets you all in the mood to write.
In the meantime – I’ll hand over to Tee:
T.G. Ayer’s Writing Quirks and Must Haves
Until I thought about it I hadn’t realised that I do have a few ‘writing quirks’. Amazing what you figure out when you are forced to examine your process.
To start off with, I always need a good pen- my favourites is a LAMY Ballpoint – a gift from my dear friend Kim.
Because I am so easily distracted by emails, the Facebook and the Twitter, I prefer to go through them before I start writing, otherwise it will just bug me and mess with my concentration.
Part of my routine is to chat with my 2 writing buddies Patti and Cassie- we chat several times a day every day on Skype- have word wars and sometimes do butt-kicking duty
I must have my chap-stick right beside my keyboard; I hate having to get up and go look for it.
A bottle of water- absolutely necessary.
I usually make my lunch when I prepare the family lunches every morning. So it’s all wrapped and ready to eat when lunchtime comes around. If I have to do more than unwrap and chew then I get annoyed and might not eat lunch at all- which is definitely a bad thing.
A pair of fingerless gloves in winter.
Writing music- During the day, when the house is empty I write without music, unless the neighbours are yelling or annoying me with their own loud music or screaming kids. Then I use my music to drown them out. Once my girls are home, and because my ‘study’ is located in my lounge, I drown out extraneous sounds by sticking my earphones in my ears. Of course, when I am writing an intensive action or emotional scene I listen to Linkin Park or Daughtry or Melody Gardot- whatever suits the scene.
Editing music – When I am editing, my music preference is different. When I first started writing I used to listen to a playlist of all the Coldplay CD’s I owned. Now, for some reason, I always use that CD to edit to. It’s calming, and not intrusive enough to mess with my concentration while I edit.
I don’t snack while I write, amazing ideas come to me in the shower and I have an aversion to my treadmill which happens to occupy space in my study and which I just happen to not use on a daily basis. And that’s it as far as I can think of.
If you would like to know more about Tee, please go and hang out with her at T.G. Ayer.com, where you will discover her awesome Urban Fantasy worlds of Valkyries, Skinwalkers, and many other insights into her wonderful imagination.
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Awww, I love that I’m part of your routine 🙂 You’re totally part of mine! I think you’re a lot more organized than me, though this is your job so it makes sense 🙂
I think I’m developing a routine now. Every novel has it’s own CD, and that is the one I listen to any time I work on it. At the moment my novella “Shell and Bone” has the NIN CD With Teeth, and without fail by the time I get to the 3min mark on the first song I am off and running. I give myself up until then to scan over yesterdays words, find my place, and make my first stumble into the story, and if I don’t need that time, I skip to 2.30 (the tone of the song changes at 3mins!)
Other than that, I must have a coffee with me when I sit down. I don’t eat while I write either, my fingers are far too busy 🙂
I think every writer has their quirks, or the things that work for them and as long as they DO work that’s the main thing!
Thanks for sharing, Tee!
Tee, my dear Afrika Sister, I do so much the same as you. E-mails first, though I usually check in on Warriors at the end of the day. Coffee is a must, and water. I use an empty cup as an excuse for a quick five minute break and back at it. Fingerless gloves, oh yes! And a space heater next to me.
for music, I listen to a soundtrack I call,, I Need Quiet, which has no words and all kind of intersting New Agey music on it. Otherwise I listen to just about anything from Angels and Air Waves to Coldplay, to Classical and Ethiopian and Kenyan. If you’ve got anything from S. Afrika, send it my way. My daughter just got me some Yoga music that fit perfectly for writing the first drafts.
I talk to my writing partner (my daughter) nearly every day at some point and check in with other writers all over the world on the internet. I’m so fortunate to have great friends all over.
Food has to be already in the fridge or I won’t eat. I often get calls,”did you eat, Mom? Go find something.” Ten minutes later. “Well? What did you find to eat?” (I ate a peanut butter roll-up and a salad. Are you satisfied yet, child?) 🙂
I try to get in 2500-3000 words a day. I write my goals on a spread sheet with the goal and what I actually got done and the total word count, staring and ending. It keeps me focused.
Yeah, I’m quirky, but I’m not sorry for it. I love the writing life, and my husband and family are supportive. I’ve got amazing friends and I’m content.