So I’ve got my calendar and a reward set for my writing. I’m set. But wait…I can only write when the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars. I need cloudy weather, preferably rain, for my muse to get inspired. There must be soft music in the background, usually the soundtrack from some drippy historical movie. I can only write if I have my favorite socks on. My muse responds to chai tea. The children must be somewhere else. My good luck tiki must be staring at me from his post on the top of my desk. I can only write if I’ve read all the blogs and commented on at least five of them. There must be a game of Poppit or Bejeweled 2 played in order to get my juices flowing.
I can’t write if it’s sunny. I can’t write if I’m hungry, thirsty, cold, hot, etc. etc. I can’t write with the TV on. I must write on a laptop. I must write on a desk top. I must write on a legal pad with a roller gel pen.
Does this remind you of anyone? Do you have conditions that have to be met in order to write? Don’t the above things sound lame?
They aren’t really. They aren’t cop outs, they aren’t excuses because we really do want a certain environment in order to write. But what we really want is control.
Our talent is creating worlds on paper. We make up stuff, creating characters and places that exist only in our imagination and communicating it so a reader believes they are real for the space of a few hundred pages. Our control is absolute.
I think it really gripes us when we can’t control the world we live in. By creating conditions in which to write, we are exerting our control. But we can’t make it snow. We can’t make the kids disappear. We write on what is available. Sometimes the cd player is broken and we have to write in silence. Sometimes we have to write with “Spongebob Squarepants” blaring in the background. We have to accept we can’t be in control and make the commitment to write anyway. I honestly believe if you have your heart in a book, it really doesn’t matter what surrounds you. Our lives are not perfect and we are not magic. How we perceive the world around us helps feed our muse.
I was originally going to title this post “Atmosphere” when I realized atmosphere changes day-to-day for me and some of my best writing was done without any of my conditions met. I have to day I can’t do anything about this and write anyway.
How about you? Do you have conditions to be met when you write? Are they realistic?