My Writing Quirks

You know how my writing process works? Via miracles. Seriously. I'm a pantser so when an idea hits me, I sit down to write, and I wing it. If I start trying to figure out the plot, structure, or the why of things I stress out and confuse myself. Once it’s written, then I revise, rewrite using a Save the Cat outline, get feedback, revise again. Take a break and repeat—because I never know when to stop. My writing process also works well with wine and coffee (not together—that'd be gross).

Speaking of wine and coffee, when I write, my mind loves to focus on the most ridiculous things. Like writing rituals, for example. I must have things a certain way, or I may as well give up on life. Okay, well . . . maybe something less dramatic.

I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours. I just hope no psychologist reads my "musts" when writing. I'd hate to be sent to a madhouse because I decided to be honest with you.

My writing process MUST include these “genius” quirks:

  • I must have music or background noise. Not too bad . . . right? Get ready.

  • Coffee is a must when I start working. A few hours later I might switch to wine, but it must be white wine. I love red, but to write: white.

  • If I'm in the zone for a few days, it's all about energy drinks.

  • When my nails are too long, I feel like I can't write. Yes, I type and it's fine even if I have a few extra typos, but it literally stops me mentally from writing. So, I cut them off. I'm either girly or am a writer. Apparently, I’m incapable of being a girly writer.

  • I write down new ideas with black pens but revise with blue. Let’s not be judgy! :P

  • I find Wednesday and Thursday to work best for me. No change in my schedule for the week, they just happen to be my most productive writing days/nights.

  • When writing, I must have a few notebooks (say 3 or 10?), at least five pens, and different colored stickers by my side even if I don’t use them.

  • When revising I need a printed copy of the MS as well. Again . . . even if I don’t use it. I just need it, and if I don’t have it, I can't breathe.

  • I usually work in my kitchen, so when writing, I like to face the window, but . . .

  • When revising I have to face the opposite wall. Why? I don’t know.  

These are just some of them; I'm sure I have more that I can't think of right now. And before you think I'm completely insane, well, let me tell you: I'm in good company. Mark Twain wrote while lying in bed. Shakespeare, Milton, and Chaucer recited Homer’s invocation of the Muse before typing a word. John Cheever wrote mostly in his underwear. And dear Hemingway wrote standing . . . and naked.

Tell me I’m not the only crazy one. Is there something maybe silly that somehow *absolutely* makes a difference for you in being productive?


By S. Katherine Anthony

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S.K. Anthony (Shanny) is a writer, a reader, and make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York. She is an award-winning author and a bestseller on Amazon. When she isn’t busy with her toddler twins, S.K. finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders . . . she is convinced they are out to get her!