What is it that makes your writing tick? my seven (deadly?) writing needs

As I sat down today to finish off the poem i mentioned yesterday, I suddenly wondered-what exactly do I need before I can write something that i’m proud of. Consequently, I thought it would be nice to write about those essential things that I simply must have to write. So, starting with things which help and going down to the very most essentials, here is what makes my writing tick..

1. A nice cup of coffee or tea. Some of my poems and essays would never have been finished without these trusty beverages. There’s something about the smell and warmth that keeps you going…let alone the caffeine. Cafes often also have the right feel for writing. Why do uni students seem to always hang around  in cafes? They inspire writing! (again…trying to ignore the obvious answer of caffeine…) I have to put this as the least important for a very simple reason however. It also seems to have a dreadful habit of also ruining writing if you rely on it too much.

2. Time.  I’m sure many people would argue with time not being considered that important, but the truth is you can write anywhere, anyplace, anytime if you want. Although changing those three things can of course contribute or remove from what you write, if you keep your pen and paper with you all the time, all it takes is to pull out your notebook as soon as you see something worth writing about. Time is however on the list because you do need to invest time to craft those ideas which have been collected and sculpt them into something.

3.Music. Some need music to write, some can’t stand even the hum of a bird from outside whilst they write. I am a strange one, in that at different times I fall into either group. As I write this, I’m listening to a band called Faun-A German group that play medieval and folk music with a twist (don’t judge my slightly out there taste in music 🙂 ). Right now, that is exactly what I need to keep writing, yet other times it would force me into not being able to think a single word.

4.A pen and paper. Unless you use solely a computer, you need the simple yet loyal paper and pen. Part of me argues that I should put this at the bottom of the list as the most essential part of writing, but as I sit here typing I can’t bring myself to believe that it is the most essential part-So I send out a big apology to any writing purists that will only ever write on paper and never the computer screen.

5.My own notebook. Call me a creature of habit, but I write better if i’m using my favourite notebook. This notebook came from the national museum in London and is decorated to look like part of the Rosetta Stone. very cool. It contains most of my poems, random notes, chord progressions for songs, and notes for a piece of English coursework…among other things. Although it is probably completely phychological, I no doubt write better when I have it with me.

6.Inspiration. What is writing without something to talk about? Luckily the world is full of inspiration-the trick is in spotting it…and in my case, remembering it afterwards. You could write about absolutely anything, but generally you only write at your best when it is something that fills you with passion and fiery emotions. Inspiration is the base of all writing.

and finally 7.a clear and peaceful mind. Writing can almost come close to being quite a meditative exercise and in my opinion that clarity of thought is the most essential part of writing. Inspiration may seem like the true foundation of writing, but without that peaceful, open mind, you miss so much that could have been written about. For the past couple of months in which I have written very little on the blog for example, I haven’t had a peaceful mind; I’ve been stressed every moment of every day. Now however i’m getting to calm down a bit more…a little weird considering the close proximity to exam time, but that just seems to be how it is and i’m not going to complain.

What are your 7 essential things you need to write? Feel free to share them on the comments!

(p.s. Sorry about the rather obvious links on this post. I’m only completely guiltlessly seeing if adding in some the recommended links kicks up the views a bit…)

6 thoughts on “What is it that makes your writing tick? my seven (deadly?) writing needs

  1. Possibly the single greatest requirement I need is a subject I’m passionate about. Since I love and hate quite a few things, all passionately, this isn’t usually an obstacle, thank God…
    Also handy are my steel nibbed pen (lends a deliciously old fashioned feel) and my pipe (I don’t smoke but the weight of it in my hand helps me concentrate).
    Thank heavens you can be eccentric as a writer!

  2. My secret is… I use words…
    Ha. I agree with all of this except the music. I need quiet to write.
    And if you read any part of my novel at all you can tell that a calm mind doesn’t work for me. I need to be in a frenzy. I do write it all with pen and paper first. And I can’t ever do it on a schedule. I can only write when something wants to come out that is inside me. Or else it is like trying to give birth when you aren’t pregnant.

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