I have a confession to make: I’m a superstitious writer. I need a nook to call my own to do anything remotely productive. Consistent comforts are required to get into a routine, and subsequently a mindset to produce writing that feels good after it’s on the page. It might not actually be good, but I need a few cues to signal to my brain that it’s time to get busy and get working.
For example: I need to be sitting cross-legged on my chaise lounge with the tv off, my laptop computer on my mini desk, and a proper virgin sacrifice screaming in the hearth as she roasts. If it’s winter I need a very particular blanket draped across my legs (the one with Sirius Black on it that I got in Salem, MA, like, a decade ago at a Harry Potter conference.) It’s also preferable to have a steaming cup of herbal tea, and a scented candle lit to get my muse “in the mood.”
Earthly delights make the muse happy. As do blood sacrifices.
(Fickle harpy that she is.)
The funny thing is I bought the chaise because it reminded me a lot of the first days when I’d started writing fanfiction. I’m a little embarassed to admit it, but when I first started fiddling with words, I was doing the writing in bed. Note: Not actually embarrassed about writing fanfiction, only where I was doing it.
If writing a book is intimate, then writing in a book in the place where you’re doing two very sacred things — sleeping and fucking — is doubly so. Good creative process and all that.
I puttered around a bit on Google, and it turns out that the “in bed” approach was favoured by a few writers who preferred the horizontal to the desk-hugging slouch. Among the names I came accross include Vladimir Nabokov, George Orwell, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Winston Churchill, Marcel Proust, and Truman Capote.(1)(2)
This is where I’m going to make you do the work for me. I’m curious: do you have a peculiar or particular place to write? Do you need a certain pencil to make notes in the margins? Hoodoo rituals before the main event to make sure the ancestors are hanging around to help your efforts?
Where do you write?
Show me a picture.
Show me where you write.
* Virgin sacrifice is for the purpose of dramatism. I only sacrifice bad reviewers.