Monday, April 9, 2007

Tips for writers

While trolling through my RSS feed reader for tech news today, I saw that Anne 2.1 had referenced Angela Booth's Writing Blog, which is a treasure trove of helpful tips and information.

Booth mentioned that she enjoys writing first thing in the morning. I think I would, too (if I didn't have to run around like a crazy person getting ready for my day job, that is).

What about you? When do you do your best writing? And what would you add to Angela Booth's list?


Alex said...

I talk to my Dad about this on a semi-frequent basis. He's been writing seriously for around four decades now, so I've wondered "how he does" it. The simple answer is all the time, but most of all it's first thing. He plans his breakfast & tea the night before for minimal distraction, rises extremely early (dawn-ish) and gets cracking.

I can't say that's a model I've emulated. Typically, I do my best creative writing in the evening and my best non-fiction, like, say definition composition and the like, in the mid-morning, as the coffee takes hold.

As for Angie's list (tongue-firmly-in-cheek) I'd add that diagramming stories or essays can be quite useful in making connection -- that's related to image formation but grounded in concrete visualization. It's like outlining but more fluid. I think there's also a place for longhand writing, especially in poetry and story writing. The brain simply works differently when you write than when you type, in my personal experience. Transcribing the work builds in a useful editing step, too.

Lizzie said...

I have to say, that morning thing is really spot on. My most productive hours of the day are always the first one, and it's better if I don't have to make morning small talk before writing.

I'd add re-typing to her list of tips. It's a great way to edit, and when your brain is a little fuzzy from being creative, it can be relaxing to edit and deepen work this way.

Beth said...

I have to say that the best thing I learned in graduate school was that writing on a schedule and forcing yourself to maintain that schedule really does make a huge difference. Sure, you might have moments of inspiration at 2am that will drive you to write, but writing on a regular basis is key. One quirk of mine is that I tend to leave a document that I'm currently working on in sight (whether on my computer, desk, etc.) so that I frequently see it and can go back to it throughout the day. It keeps the ideas and process in the back of my mind and makes me excited to continue writing if an idea hits me.