How do you get in the writing mode?

I’ve love to hear what processes writers use to get down to work. Do you have a routine? A  favorite time to work? Does everything have to be quiet? or can you write anywhere, anytime?

After 9 months of working on a children’s book, I find that I am going through scenes in my head just about anytime. Especially while driving. I try to prepare myself for these moments now by grabbing my notebook when I leave the house….just in case something brilliant happens. So in between the bank and the grocery store, I might be ‘listening’ to a conversation between my protagonist and antagonist. Notes scribbled at stoplights and in parking lots.

Since I am required by law to spend most of my day taking care of our business, doing the books, paying the bills, keeping things organized, I am forced into staying in my Left-brain. Stuffing things into boxes, real or proverbial. 

But when I’m done being a responsible adult I get out my box of writing toys and play. The right side of my brain has a lot more fun! I love my characters and the more I work with them the more they let me know how they will act. I’ve heard this same phenomenon from published writers so I guess I’m not crazy. 

But what gets my right brain kicking when it’s 3:00 in the afternoon and it’s my naptime! That’s the lowest energy point of my day. How can I possibly write when all I want to do is sleep? The answer? Coffee and chocolate. It works every time. A cup of coffee and 65% cacao. Just a couple of squares….and it’s medicinal!

For better or worse, Starbucks is on my route home from town. They must have known I lived just up the street. When I go in and get my Americano, I also pick up their trash– used coffee grounds. They go into my garden and front lawn. I have a very perky front lawn now, but more on that in another post.

So, what is your writing process like? How do you get into your right brain?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dr. Tom Bibey
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 10:29:51

    I am a Doc and I play bluegrass mandolin. I find I have to get out of doctor mode to write, and the best way for me is to play music first.

    Of course, I play bluegrass, so sometimes my writing comes out as a breakdown.

    Come visit me at my physician bluegrass fiction writer’s weblog.

    Dr. Tom Bibey


  2. Trackback: Senior and Adult Day Care » Blog Archive » How do you get in the writing mode?
  3. rahmama
    Apr 18, 2008 @ 05:37:10

    Sorry for the slow reply. Heavy workload. I love your transitional method. Breakdown: is that a bluegrass term? I will go visit your blog now.


  4. drtombibey
    Apr 18, 2008 @ 17:56:31

    Yes. A breakdown is a very fast song, often a banjo tune. The most famous one is ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown,’ which was the theme song for the movie ‘Bonnie and Clyde.’ It is an Earl Scruggs number.

    Dr. B


  5. kegger
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 16:33:02

    I usually have to be in a certain mood to write. And it’s strange, because those moods come in waves. I’ll be in a funk where I have no desire to write at all, and then for two months straight, it’ll be all I can think about.


  6. rahmama
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 17:18:59

    kegger: sounds like you write mostly from your emotions. Are you a poet?


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