Sometimes, I’ll read interviews with writers and they’ll be all, “Do you have a ritual? What do you need to get the creative juices flowing?” and the writer is like, “I need my Mont Blanc fountain pen and a glass of exquisite red wine and a Moleskein notebook beautifully collaged with inspirational photos that evoke the tone and mood of my characters and settings.” And I’m like, get the fuck over yourself, you sound like a total diva, and everybody knows you wear sweatpants and guzzle Diet Coke because we see your ass talking about it on the Twitter daily.
But other times, I’m like, what if everybody has a special ritual for writing? And I’m the only one who doesn’t? Because I am, as I have long suspected, not a real writer? Because I’m a fraud?
I really hope the other writers this week have similar answers to mine, or else I’ll look like an asshole. I also hope that none of them use Mont Blanc pens.
Here’s my totally boring and not at all original list of things I need:
Tunes. I make Spotify playlists for all the books I’m working on. I usually share these on Tumblr after the book comes out, but other times I share them in progress. Whatever, I’m easy. Anyway, the songs I add are sometimes songs with lyrics that remind me of plot points, some just reflect the tone of the story, and others are just like, “Hey, I heard this on the radio and I want to hear it several times a day.”
Here are the playlists for the projects I’m working on right now:
Sometimes, though, I just sit with headphones on and pretend to not hear people.
My Pax. As frequent readers may be aware, I’m not the healthiest person in the world at the moment. I use marijuana to treat my fibromyalgia and epilepsy. I almost typed leprosy, I’m so glad I caught that. Not… caught leprosy. I’m just making everything worse. I’m glad I didn’t accidentally make you think I had a horrible disease. Or… yet another horrible disease. There. Better. Also, marijuana is fun and relaxing as hell, so bonus for me, because I live in a state that allows medical use of cannabis. This little gadget:
a Pax, a hand-held, rechargeable, portable vaporizer, and it’s my very best friend on days when I’m in a ton of pain (like I was when I took this picture). It’s easier on the lungs than smoke, and doesn’t get your office as smelly (although I do still smoke sometimes). The Pax is a freaking miracle for cannabis patients and the recreational consumer. You can read about it here: Pax by Ploom.
A large canning jar full of water. Not a Mason jar or a Ball jar. I mean those really big two quart fuckers. I drink a lot of water, and I don’t like to get up to go get more. “But don’t you have to get up to go to the bathroom?” Ha ha, puny mortal. My bladder is like a freaking parade balloon.
A way to bribe myself. I’m the least disciplined writer I know. I hear about people who write ten thousand words a day and I’m like, lucky if I get two thousand and a blog post in. I have to bargain with myself by doling out little treats: “When you get to a thousand words, you can spend a half hour drawing.” “If you get this blog post done today, you can take the night off to watch your shows.” But, as is my parenting style, I don’t enforce these conditions and reward myself anyway. This is also why I fail at dieting.
Those are the things I need. That’s about it.
You can find out if any of the other Wednesday bloggers aren’t speaking to me anymore because of my Mont Blanc comment, check out their posts here:
Jessica Jarman • Bronwyn Green • Kris Norris • Kellie St. James • Gwendolyn Cease