Everyone has their own ritual and set of things they like to do to relax. Writers are no different – we need certain conditions in order to create. Here’s my list of my “writing essentials”.
1. Tea. Tea, tea, and more tea. I’ve been a proper tea-belly since I was in my late teens when I started studying for my A-Levels. I’d sip it all day in the study area of the sixth-form
block, would drink it in my room at night when putting an essay together and, when I went to University, my flatmates and I brewed up many a pot (of tea, before you get any ideas). Now, as a writer, I need a cuppa next to me. Old habits die hard.
2. Chocolate. Need I say more? Always milk chocolate, never dark. Cadbury’s, please.
3. Background noise. I’m not a writer who can work in silence. I like music playing somewhere (readers can check out an earlier post to see my current preferences), or even a bit of sport. But that’s it – I can’t concentrate with anything else playing away in the background.
4. A comfortable seat. I’m struggling with this one. At the moment, because we’re in the middle of a house move (we have been for a while – anyone who has bought a house can tell you it’s not a quick process), I’m doing most of my work upstairs in our bedroom. I sit on our bed to write and, after an hour or so, I get a numb bum. The rest of the evening is spent shuffling around, transferring weight from buttock to buttock, cursing the fact that I don’t have a desk upstairs.
5. A reward at the end. Let’s face it, writing is lonely work and it can be hard graft to sit and bash out a thousand words a night (or more if it’s flowing). So it’s nice to have a treat at the end of the writing session, be it a bath, a programme on the telly, a guilt-free hour tootling around on Facebook. Whatever it is, having a reward once the writing target has been achieved is motivating.
These are my top five writing essentials. How do they compare to yours? Are there certain conditions you need in order to be creative?