Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Habitual Rituals

I've been blogging for almost a year now, and I have figured some stuff out. Nothing earth shattering, mind you, but interesting. Sorta kinda. Well, let me amend that... I have learned some extremely earth shattering things, but that's not what this particular post is about. Sorry, no buzz kill for you kids today.

So, I've noticed I have writing habits, and that makes me happy. I feel like it legitimizes me as a writer (again, sorta kinda). Which reminds me, my boys have the funniest little rituals they go through before they swim in a race. Sweet Mr. Beans always waves his arms around in big circles and kind of hops up and down. Moody Teen presses his googles to his face with his palms, over and over and over again, then shakes each leg once. Unless he's swimming backstroke, in which case, he sits in the water, gripping the coping, waiting to take off. Boring, I know. He hates backstroke, so he'd wholeheartedly agree.

Anyway, back to me. Here are my behaviors I have observed:

As much as I would like to, I can't listen to music when I write. No iPod, no cd, nothing. 

As much as I would like to, I can't plan out ahead of time what I would like to convey. I have to clear my head and just let the words come as I type.

As much as I would like NOT to, I must always be eating when I type. Occasionally pausing for a bite of Reese's Puffs really seems to keep the creativity flowing.

I have to have an empty house when I write. Like, totally empty. No husband, no kids, no cleaning lady. Dogs are allowed, but they have to be silently sleeping (or outside digging in the yard).

Oh, and this one is really weird... and it must just be a habit I developed (duh), but everything has to be written in the little blogger post box. I can sit and stare at a blank word document all day long and the words don't come. However, if I pull up Blogger and click "new post," my thoughts start to crystallize and my fingers begin to move. So even if I am not writing a blog post, I will write it here (in Blogger), then cut and paste in the appropriate format.

And finally, I have a special spot. The whole reason I got a laptop was so I could write on the fly. Sitting by the pool, lounging in the hammock, holed up in the study. But here I am every day, sitting at the head of the kitchen table, hammering out my thoughts. Alone. At the spur of the moment. In silence. With food. And a big ol' smile on my face.


47 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Do people write and cut and paste into Word? I have never done that.

And I can't have music or the TV on when I write either.

Frogs in my formula said...

I'm just the opposite--I can only write in Word and then I paste it into the blogger box. Otherwise I just go brain dead.

I LOVE Reese's Puffs. They are the perfect food.

Soxy Deb said...

I think it's hilarious that you can't write in any other format beside a blogger box.
I have to have music or tv on when I'm writing. Or studying, or anything. I NEED noise. It may have something to do with the kids being gone, but I have to ALWAYS have some noise in the house. Of some sort. Hell it could be me trying to sing, but it has to be something.

I just hit my year of blogging last Friday. It really sneaks up on you doesn't it?

By the way, I was joking (or trying to) on twitter earlier when I said have you been gone (or whatever the heck I said). I always know when you haven't posted or been around in a while. I'm a good little stalker.

Michel said...

HAHA! OMG! You, me: Same, same! I also have to eat - although where I am I can't be picky -- and can't have distractions. ALSO, I have TRIED to write a post on word (so that I could actually use spell check) and I cannot think of one damn thing to say (and I got a LOT of things to say, frankly).

Anyway, I hear ya...and I'm with ya! Keep it up though. I do love your writing!

Quirkyloon said...

I pick at my eyebrow until it hurts, then surprisingly...the words come!

heh heh

Thanks for sharing your blogging ritual with us. I like it!

Heather of the EO said...

I love it!

I would LOVE silent blogging. I write best away from kiddos, but for now I'll just write crazy stuff while they pull on me.

I can't write anywhere else but the blogger box either, I totally get it.

Ginger said...

I like quiet too when I am writing or blogging. It's funny with me, I can write long emails but can't think of anything to put on my blog. I would never make it as an author.

Tabitha in Bliss said...

I need music on when I'm writing. I am most inspired by music.

Summer said...

sounds lovely!!! Keep eating...and blogging. =)

Nobody's Girl said...

Wait.....CLEANING LADY?

;)

I'm the same...have to write when the thought comes to me. (probably why I haven't written anything interesting for quite some time now)

Eva Robertson said...

Great. It made me smile that you have to eat while writing. I have to do something oral, too, but it's generally nicorette and WINE. Boy, every since I started blogging I've had to worry about the alcohol consumption. Never an issue before.

I'm always at my desktop, holed up in the office. Buy I love the idea of a laptop by a pool or in a hammock!

Moody teen sounds like quite the Michael Phelps. I can just picture it. How cute.

mama-face said...

I would have a hard time writing if my cleaning lady was in the house with me.

you can see this coming...IF I had a cleaning lady. I should probably get myself one though if I am going to keep up this blogging thing.

I love when I am writing and people (family, whatever) are talking to me and actually think that I am listening.
ha.

I also (i think you said this) have really no Idea what I am going to write about until I start writing. Stuff just pretty much dumps out of my brain onto the page. Not a pretty sight.

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

I hate when I am doing my makeup in the morning or driving in my car and I have a great blog idea... and then when I get home in MY favorite spot.. (bed with the laptop and my doggy laying next to me... ) I forget what my idea was LOL ( oh and I like Blue corn chips while I blog LOL

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

A cleaning lady?!?! Can you share her with me? Just once or twice? Please. Pretty please. Dont make me beg.

And I have no rituals for writing. At least none that I know of....but I usually write while camped out on the couch, with the boys running wildly through the house (sometimes naked...the boys, not me), and I am usually eating something but that is always not just while blogging. I dont know, maybe I am just boring. I like your habits....they make your writing special.

Em said...

(sneaking in before I have to shut the computer back down :-)

I love being able to picture you in the kitchen writing. Is it anywhere close to the non-glassed cabinet?

My writing ritual - usually with a three-year-old in my lap. I caught myself fanticizing today about next Fall. Bad Mama.

And next time you need some peace and quiet, send your cleaning lady over here.

Under the Influence said...

I am eating a ham sandwich and chips as I read. I like to eat and read. And apparently eat and type comments.

CaJoh said...

I used to not be able to write or do any work on the computer with music on. I later was able to add a bit at a time and now I can listen to music and write. I'll have to post on the several different ways I listen to music— one of which is to basically ignore what is playing.

Young Momma said...

I love this post. Maybe because I love the whole concept of writing? Anyway - I have no idea what Reese's Puffs are, which kind of worries me, because Reese's are my faves!!

I'm opposite though. I can write where ever. Noise, no noise. I actually prefer noise though. Music over kids, but same diff. The other day I actually had a brilliant idea and pulled my lap top out while we were on a family date at the drive in and wrote a whole plot for a book. However, I can't write a BLOG in Word and can't write much more than a blog in Blogger. ;)

Wendyburd1 said...

I have to have background noise of some sort, otherwise it is too quiet. I try to make some pre-written posts for days where I have nothing to write but I can hardly ever DO that, it is like there are no longer any words if it is not for today...which I HATE!!

Sera said...

I type mine into the blogger box - never thought to do it any other way. I love the little rituals you're noticing. Guess I never really stopped to think about mine.

Sally's World said...

this is a great list. i am lucky i can write with world war three going on around me (and have had to on occassion)its great how much we learn about ourselves from bloggin tho...its been an eye opener for me too!

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

I USED To HAVE to have the music on until the vote and most bloggers said they hate the music. So now, it is silence for me (i miss the music) it must be b/c my house is full of giggles all the time?!

and I so HAVE to write in blogger too!! hee hee

great little secrets about you!

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

We are such creatures of habit.

I too got a laptop for the ease and flexibility, and almost always end up in the same place on the couch.

I have to have a coffee or tea with me when I write.

And I need quiet. I have to write when the kids are at school or in bed, which is going to be a problem if I start working (which may happen very soon). I can't even think about it...

Lee of MWOB said...

I will not bore you with my writing rituals....but that is not to say YOURS were boring. They were not. They were very very insightful to who you are. :-)

But now, let's get on that extremely earth-shattering news!! :-)

Tony@ That One Paticular Harbor said...

I like to swing my arms in circles before I start to write like Mr. Bean just to get the blood flowing to my hands.
I have to have music or something in the background. It can be multiple things really. You see I used to catch punts in front of 70K fans so I took a concentration course. They used have us do homework with multiple forms of outside stimulus to force us to focus on the task. So now it is just ingrained in me. If it gets too quiet bring me a straight jacket.

zelzee said...

I wish I could be regimented and just sit down and write, but I always seem to have numerous activities in the works.

Type a paragraph.........
throw in a load of clothes.......
type a line....
clean the bathroom.......
type another paragraph.....
talk on the phone.....

I have no "system" in writing, nor in life.

Debbie said...

I am much the same way. Music zaps all the thought out of my head. And I only write in my little blogger box.

Bee and Rose said...

Oh Deb! I love this post! Chilly and I just had a conversation about my blogging style and habits last night! lol!

I cannot have noise either! I used to do the type in Word thing, but those posts just didn't have the pizazz of just writing in the little post box. Sigh....

I'm like you...I write off the cuff...just bleed it all out...and I do it at the kitchen table on my laptop too....Even though I wanted to be portable (like you)...I just have my comfort zone!

Fabulous post!

Beth said...

I seem to come up with most of my posts during my morning run (really run/walk - but I am getting better). But I HAVE to have the tv on. Too much quiet makes me feel compelled to clean.

I've never really thought about the ritual of writing.

Great post!

Beth said...

And Reece stuff is manna.

Sent from above for us to enjoy. In abundance.

dana said...

Honey, after reading your entire post, the only thought I had was "YOU HAVE A CLEANING LADY!?" SHEESH

Sherri said...

We share many of the same writing habits. I also write "off the cuff", in silence, in the blogger box.

AND, I have a little something for you back at my place. Check it out.

Straight to Your Hart said...

You leave a big ol' smile on my face!!!

So fun to read your posts today...been on the remodeling house planet for a few weeks and just had to take a break to see what some of my favorite people have been up to!!

Hope all is well pretty lady!:)

Brenda Jean said...

Wow, you've read my mind again and it freaks me out:) I didn't realize some things til you wrote this post. No music for me too, snacks or hot tea a must (as my butt can tell you), and I think I do the blogger box thing too now that you mention it. If I try to force it ahead of time it just doesn't work. I can write with people in the house BUT I think it's harder now that they are all trying to "share" with me. I love my kids, but dang, all three tend to want to show me stuff or tell me things at the same time. It makes it hard to write.

The only thing I don't have is a "place" to write. Maybe that is part of my problem lately:)

Lindsay said...

I'm with you. I need silence to write. I usually get too distracted when I have music on, and since I'm always having to listen to some sort of Wiggle song, my mind is habitually stunted.

Michel said...

pssst. I tagged you on my blog - work is due NLT 25 may - please show your work and do not look on others' posts for help.

This is a closed book posting.

HAHA - sorry man. I had to pick someone!

Kristina P. said...

I hope you have a marvelous birthday, Deb!

Candice said...

I write on the fly as well. Sometimes I can listen to music, and other times it has to be quiet.

I'm flexible.

What I really wanted to say is

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :)

Under the Influence said...

I heard from a very reliable source that today is your birthday! Happy day!

Em said...

Happy, Happy Birthday!!!!

Hope you're being showered with wonderfulness and love. E

Melissa B. said...

Happy B-day, Deb! We Tauruses need to stick together, oui? To celebrate your special day, please stop by for Sx3 today...we've got quite a Fish Tale goin' on! PS: Em sent me!!

Missy said...

I just write~ I never considered trying to write in a quiet environment! I am going to try this!

Missy said...

Happy Birthday!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I came from EM's, so first of all Happy Birthday! And secondly, I loved this post. I need to think about my own habits, but like you, I can only wrtie when it is quiet. No people moving and no music.

I need to get me a laptop.

Jenners said...

I'm so glad that writing makes you happy -- I'm finding that it is such of an important part of my life now too -- and I've found that I have little rituals as well. And there is something about that Blogger box that coaxes those words out of my mind. And forget about blogging somewhere else -- it has to be at my little computer desk. Cool.

Shauna - Blah Blah Blog said...

Very funny that you have a mental block with any other format. People need to be careful with any preformatting in Word or any other programs. It can really slow your blog down if you copy and paste!

So - you are doing good to start with Blogger and stay there. I am sure you were wanting my blog advice. I cannot help myself. Sorry!

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