Creating a Writing Environment

Yeah, we’ve been bad about posting again. It’s kind of been a stressful week despite the holiday. I (Heather) had to take a day of furlough. Many librarians are having to take similar actions as opposed to dealing with a layoff. However, it’s still stressful to think about a lost day of income.

I think part of this blog entry came to mind because of how difficult it’s been to write lately. Stress is always a factor for most writers. Yet sometimes there is a method to getting in the zone. Sometimes…

I’m lucky and I’m spoiled. I get a room to myself for my projects. So does Chris. Granted they’re tiny rooms, but it works for us. In the past we had a long master bedroom and we partitioned it off into ‘bed’ area and ‘office’ area with some celtic artwork sheets we had. It’s not hard to find a space for yourself if you de-clutter. I’d also suggest ‘reclaiming’ the wasted space in the dining room. Lots of people have turned theirs into offices, libraries, etc. Some lucky people have finished basements to use and they suck 😉 Okay, they don’t suck, it’s just like my characters, I like being underground in the dark sometimes…and I’m secretly jealous of that! hehehe

Anyways, I tend to turn out lights, light candles, incense, or oil burners, and turn on the music. Sometimes I have to kick out the katkids. Queen Ophelia is usually quiet during my writing so if she’s there, she gets to remain with me and she’ll purr, contented that she gets to sit on the other office chair. Lucius and Clyde on the other hand are always chatting. So generally the noisy boys are removed and then start crying at the door. Then they get distracted by something shiny and leave for a while.

Music is also a big factor for me. However, I’m oddly specific about my music rules. If there are words in it, they must be in a foreign language so I don’t try to sing along or think about the lyrics. I’m great with movie soundtracks or TV show soundtracks. I love the Lord of the Rings soundtracks. However, I’ll admit that the first and second book of the Morrigan’s Brood series were written to Dead Can Dance, Clannad, Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Medieval Babes, and Lisa Gerrard CD’s. Some of the characters spend a great deal of time in the middle east and a lot of the action also happens in Ireland so this really pulled me into their world.

The next three books had a soundtrack primarily consisting of Corvus Corax, which is this awesome German group that primarily plays pipes, horns, and drums from around the world. There were also liberal sprinklings of Vas, Azam Ali, Qntal, Estampie, Stellamara, Irfan, Faun, and Omnia. Omnia has a wonderful song about Morrigan which just worked so well, even though it’s sung in English and is majorly distracting.

Getting back to candles and incense and burning stuff… I’m big on good smelly stuff. I tend to like blends that aren’t too distracting. However, one of the best things I’ve found to do is to cleanse the place with something like lavender and lemon a day before. Then you don’t have layered scents upon scents. Sometimes peppermint is good for stimulating creativity. Sometimes I like a blend I call ‘Dragon’s Breath’ where I mixed some florals with Dragon’s Blood. I also like orange and clove. I guess I’m really scent-driven.

Now, hopefully I can take my own advice and get writing tonight!

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