Monday, February 22, 2010

Just warming up...

Believe it or not, most writers of my acquaintance do not just plant themselves in front of the computer screen every morning/afternoon/evening and start pouring forth ageless prose. They tend to ease into it somehow, often having a ritual of sorts to help get the words flowing. I know I do. Not certain what would happen if I skipped it, but I'm pretty sure my brain would cramp.

Mine goes something like this (with slight variations, depending on my mood and/or the phase of the moon--I'm not rigid):

First, tea. (This is the essential opening gambit, without which none of the rest could follow.) Usually Red Rose black tea, a simple blend, not glamorous, but it gets the job done. The Earl Greys, the greens, the whites, the herbals--those are all for later in the day, when my palate is awake enough to appreciate them.

While sipping my first cuppa, I check my email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. I don't answer anything important, not trusting myself to respond coherently until my eyes have been open for a little longer. But I get the lay of the land.

After breakfast (usually something delicious prepared by the theater god; otherwise, if TG is unavailable for kitchen duty, cold cereal OR--if TG is already out of the house & can't see me--a brownie or a chocolate chip cookie) I make a quick call to my mother to make sure she survived the night, and to gossip about my my three brothers.

And then the home stretch: word games.

I tend to keep four or five Wordscraper games (remarkably like Scrabble, but not Scrabble, due to copyright problems on the part of the creators) going with Facebook friends. I am a ruthless opponent, and if you ever beat me, it won't be from any show of mercy on my part.

[Aside--I have this fantasy that I'm not a competitive person. That I am perpetually "nice" and "easy-going." Apparently *cough* this is not true, at least when it comes to word games.]

And finally, the homestretch of the Warm Up Rally:

I am addicted to Cricklers. They're like crossword puzzles, but without the annoying "Downs." Every morning I race through several, just to see if my brain can still remember...uh, you know, those things writers need to work with? Oh, yeah. Words.

My handicap is *buffs nails on robe* 0. Well, except on some of the news puzzles, but who really cares about current events?

Anyway, after my Cricklers interlude, I am ready to face the the flashing curser on the blank screen.

[Note: sometimes I actually shower and get dressed somewhere along the way, but it isn't an essential part of the ritual. Getting to work in my jammies & robe is, after all, one of the perks of being a writer.]

So, how about you writers out there? How do you warm up before a writing session? Care to share any tips?



LOL, fun post!

For me, it's all about having the right beverage beside me as I write. Tea when I first flip on the computer, ice water all day long, and wine in the late afternoon/early evening. Hey, a writer has to stay well-hydrated!


Linda G. said...

Your beverage choices sound remarkably like mine: tea, followed by water in the afternoon, and a grape- (or sometimes grain-) based libation in the evening. As you say, hydration is paramount to good writing. ;)

Beth said...

The problem with my warm-up is that it tends to take all day.

(Didn't know you had a blog! I'll have fun catching up. :) )

Linda G. said...

Hi Beth!

I haven't really advertised the blog much yet. Not only do I feel like I'm still practicing, but I've been *cough* known to have commitment issues with blogs before. (Okay, so I have two or three others out there in the ether somewhere--no need to mention where--but this time I'm _serious_. *grin*)

Beth said...

but this time I'm _serious_.

I show up at my own blog and say that from time to time...

Linda G. said...

Beth, you need to go write some more posts! If I can do this, you can too. Come on--misery loves company. ;)