Writing is hard, so writers need every tool available to facilitate the process. I write in my office, with the door closed, sitting at my PC. Sometimes I write in the mornings after my daughter has gone off to school. Other times I write late in the evening after my wife and daughter have gone to bed. Those are the times of least distraction for me. But even with minimal distractions, sometimes inspiration takes a holiday. So I have a few writing aides to help kick start that fickle beast.
1. A sweet drink. I always have to have a drink on my desk. And it must be sweet. In the mornings, it’s coffee sweetened with a flavored creamer. My favorite is International Delight’s Irish Creme Cafe. In the evenings, it’s a tall glass of iced water flavored with my favorite MiO water enhancer, cherry blackberry. If there is no sweet beverage at my desk, there are no new words on my word processor.
2. The sound of rain. I’m a pluviophile (that’s someone that loves rain), which is unfortunate given that I live in a region of the country that is currently plagued by drought (Central Texas). Fortunately for me, there are websites that offer the soothing sounds of rain whenever they are needed. My current favorite is http://www.rainymood.com/ (it has a nice visual of rain as well if I need a break from staring at my WIP). The sound of rain really helps when my muse is being lazy.
3. Music. When I’m not listening to rain, I listen to music for inspiration, especially if I’m writing an important scene. The music must be instrumental as I find lyrics terribly distracting. Since I collect movie soundtracks, I have a very large selection from which to choose. Depending on whether I’m writing an emotional scene, a scary encounter, or an action-filled sequence, I pop in the appropriate score from a similarly themed film and I’m ready to go. Some of my favorite composers are Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Danny Elfman, and James Horner. If you’ve never tried writing with a good movie score playing in the background, you absolutely must.
4. A cool room. I don’t like the heat. Summer is my least favorite season. I’m definitely not a sunny beach sort of man. (Shocking coming from the pluviophile, right?) I’m much more of a fog-shrouded, cobblestone street kind of fellow. So my office must be cool. 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal, although I could stand to go a few degrees colder. (My wife calls me a polar bear.)
5. A pleasant scent. I like the smell of cinnamon, pumpkin, and sandalwood. Not all together, of course. Well, maybe some of them together. Incense is usually too strong so I prefer a scented candle on my bookshelf. Sandalwood especially puts me in the mood to write. It always makes me think of lush deep jungles, or cool shady forests. Those are some places where I could definitely write. If you use candles make sure you put them where they can’t accidentally ignite anything nearby.
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