By Janie Reinart and Leslie Colin Tribble
"There is no greater agony than bearing
an untold story inside you." ~Maya Angelou
A writer's got to write like a writer's got to breathe. What helps you settle into that chair and write?
This is a "What Wheel", my (Janie) favorite graphic organizer set up like a wheel with spokes. Print a copy. Set the timer for one minute, and fill in as many lines on the wheel as you can. Answer the question asking what you need as a writer.
We polled writers from the Grog and got these answers.
1. Set a time to write or write when and where you can. Many writers seem to need a set time in order to be productive - like getting up at 5 am and hitting the keyboard. Others are good at writing while waiting for kids at piano lessons, or any number of other activities. I (Leslie) need a block of time, say at least an hour if not more. I don't like just getting into the flow of words and then having to stop. Consequently, some days (many!) are just not suited to writing.
2. Select a place to write: a desk, a comfy chair, a coffee shop. I (Leslie) set up a desk in an unused bedroom and have been delighted to discover I'm actually way more productive there. I feel like I'm really working, so I work harder. If you're away from your writing spot but are whacked upside the head with the best idea in the world, use the voice memo on your phone to record your ideas. This is a handy practice to utilize while driving.
3. Chose something to eat and drink: water, coffee, tea, dark chocolate, and gum were some of the favorites. Todd Burleson rewards himself with chocolate chip cookie dough--not the cookies. Marcie Flinchum Atkins drinks green Kombucha tea, while Suzy Leopold prefers iced sun tea. I'm (Janie) in with the chocolate!
4. Wear your cozy fuzzy slippers and robe or snuggle in a fleece blanket in winter. What, you don't write in your jammies? Kids enjoy feeling cozy. Kid writers should give themselves permission to feel cozy while crafting for those snuggle bunnies.
5. Everyone likes colorful supplies including: paper, journals, colored pens and pencils and lap tops. Suzy Leopold's writing tool box has markers and highlighters, colored index cards and post it notes. It seems like most writers harbor a secret desire to own a stationary supply store. Next time you're drooling over the newest Sharpie, ask the similarly excited shopper next to you if they're a writer. Kindred spirits in the pen department. Go on admit it. Who else has a notebook and pen obsession?
|Use a primary journal as a book dummy.|
6.Many mentioned a dictionary, thesaurus, rhyming dictionary or synonym finder, bullet journal, scribble book, flip dictionary, idea journals, books on the craft of writing, and stacks of picture books. We'd love to hear which types of resources you use.
|Hockey mate and Pam Vaughan|
|Grandmommy Janie and Joey.|
7. What does a writer need when they get stuck? Pam Vaughan likes frequent walks and runs, but for a great mental break plays hockey. I enjoy bird watching and reading to my grandchildren. Leslie gets outside for a walk with the dogs to get the ideas flowing again.
8. Some writers like silence, while others like music. Patricia Toht listens to theme music pertaining to what she is writing about.
Just as we all write on different subjects for different age levels, we all need differing commodities to get us into the flow. At your next writer's meeting, ask the members what they need or use to help their writing along. You might find an idea that works well for you. After all, we all need to write that untold story inside us.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on what you need to write. Leave a comment. Maybe we'll find a treasure for ourselves in your ideas!
We writers are such a diverse bunch! I love little 3" x 5" notebooks -- I can throw one into my purse or carry in a pocket. I use one to capture ideas on the run and a different one to list books that I want to scope out at the library.ReplyDelete
(P.S. Great photos of you two!)
Patricia, Thanks for the tip about the notebooks! I love all the supplies. Makes me feel like the first day of school with new crayons.Delete
Wow, what a fun post for a Monday. I loved all the pics, too. Especially Pam Vaughn! Great job, ladies! What this writer needs is GROGers like YOU.ReplyDelete
Kathy you are so right! Like birds of a feather, writers need to flock together!Delete
Writers need rest. I am a Light Napper. When I get a 20 minute opportunity a quick nap makes me so refreshed and ready to write---body and mind. Some can't handle a 20 minute recharge but need more...I am lucky that way. Blessed I should say.Delete
Damon I like the way you think, I mean nap! Yes, definitely adding this to my needs!Delete
Great post, Janie! I will link this on the ReFoReMo resource tab! :) Thanks!ReplyDelete
Thanks Carrie! I need ReFoReMo!!Delete
Great post! One thing I know I need is this great community where support can carry you through those "you can't write" blue days attack.ReplyDelete
Beverley, I agree. That "inner critic" can be so pesky and noisy! Love our great community!!Delete
Thank you for this great post :) I keep after me to set aside the time and place with no distractions-sometimes hard to do.ReplyDelete
Charlotte, the hardest thing is BIC!Delete
I love all kinds of pens and different sized pads all around the house. Friends know how much I enjoy paper goods and keep me well supplied.ReplyDelete
Barbara what fun! Always need a "magic" pen and special paper to help write fabulous stories!!ReplyDelete
Now this was a great post for me today! I found myself in the middle of a college library today. It's amazing all the different 'places' where 'kids' can write. There was a food court, a big area with lots of tables, study rooms for small groups, and of course, the place I went to; the soundproof room for an individual writer; I mean student! It was heaven. I happened to locate a book that I needed on WorldCat and it was only available in Boston and at this college library. What fun to transport myself back to those 'college' days and do some writing and research. What a great way to spend President's Day.ReplyDelete
Todd I would go for the soundproof room too! Fabulous you found the book you needed!Delete
Fun post, ladies, and seeing all the preferences.ReplyDelete
Tina, we are a fun bunch!Delete
Janie and Leslie: What an outstanding post. I like the idea of using a primary journal to create a book dummy. The pictures of Grandmommy Janie reading to Baby Joey is so sweet. I bet Pam has a great back hand shot for the Phantoms!ReplyDelete
Garden Girl, Thank you. It's fun to see all the things our writers do!ReplyDelete
Thanks for this insightful post, Janie! I am inspired by reading PBs for plot ideas, so that is why I am participating in ReFoReMo. See you there!ReplyDelete
HI Jarm, glad you liked it! Have you tried the plot connector yet?ReplyDelete
What a colorful and fun post. My escape is working in the yard, seeing a movie, or playing Words with Friends.ReplyDelete
Two years later - this is still potent, Janie.ReplyDelete
I just got my slippers. Double duty - we have a P.J. day in school tomorrow for
the cap to Dr. Seuss week.
(via ReForMo research page . . . )
Lol . It's pajama day in my house today too😊Delete