This post was inspired by the brilliant Tara Sim. This is meant to demonstrate that we writers are all weirdos, but maybe my idiosyncrasies will strike a chord with someone else.
1. I can write anywhere, anytime as long as nobody knows I’m writing. If someone in my house sneaks up behind me, I’ll switch my monitor over to Facebook or a card game. Yes, I’d rather look like I’ve been an unproductive slacker for the six hours I haven’t moved than like someone who’s been sucked into her own world.
2. I have to wear headphones when I write. The music will sometimes stop playing, and I won’t notice it for thirty minutes. But as long as I have headphones on, I can focus.
3. Whenever I’m deeply obsessed with a section of my book, whether it’s pouring out during a draft or I’ve finally hit on the perfect solution to a revision process, I twist my left eyebrow without realizing it. You can tell I’m lost to a book when I have that overplucked look.
4. When I’m not writing, I can sleep all night and late into the morning. When I get into a book, I sleep restlessly, dream about possible directions for my book, wake up during the night and get up to write, wake up early in the morning and get up to write, and stay up late at night vomiting up as many words as I can.
5. As a follow up to #4, as soon as I pull the computer up and start to write, I’ll get overwhelmingly sleepy and want to nap. If I lay down to nap, the wheels will spin, and I’ll have to sit up and write. This is an obnoxious cycle.
6. I get my best ideas when I’m nowhere near a computer – driving, washing dishes, showering, exercising. I’ve pulled my car off the road into a parking lot or gas station to get words on the page before they disappear.
7. I’m less a writer than I am a re-writer. I will plunge into a project with excitement until I hit 1000 words. The next 9000 words are pure torture. The rest of the book is a roller coaster of love and hate. Once I get 60,000 words down, I can start sculpting. I do a much better job fixing words that are already there than writing in the first place. But I know I have to draft to get to that point.
8. I consider myself a pantser 100%, but I always have an idea where I’m going. I never know how I’ll get there, and I let my characters take the lead. I can usually see about two or three scenes ahead. Once I get them down, it’s nap time. See #5.
9. My favorite place to write is my screened in porch. I’ve named it “Fake Internet Café” and when I go there, I tell the kids to pretend I’m actually far away at a real internet café.
10. No matter how deeply engrossed in my writing I get, I will stop dead to research something I need for the scene rather than put it off until later. I live on Google maps, looking up plausible locations, searching for character names, reading forums about conditions my characters have.
If you’re a writer, what are some of your writing quirks?