Pet Peeves and Weird Needs: Exposing Our Writing Eccentricities
EDIT: Before I start off this post, I would first like to announce my winners of the Pimp My League contest. Everyone else will be posting theirs later in the week so stay tuned!
For their wonderful efforts in the art of pimpage, I've decided two lucky winners were in order, chosen from a list of well over two by a roll of my trusty 100-sided die. Congratulations to the cryptically named Moondancer Drake and also Todd Thomas! You will both be receiving signed copies of the DEAD TO ME galleys as soon as I have them! Please send me your contact info for shipment. Now on with the show...
As you can see by our subject line for this week, Mark Henry fancies himself all poetical like. I will fill that in his "Weird Needs" folder and it shall be noted on his permanent record. I've got an eye on you, Henry!
First of all, I'm a man who likes to qualify things. It helps me sleep at night so I will be applying the scientific method to judging my eccentricities. To aid you, the reader, I've come up with this handy dandy scale to help you out- with the higher end of the eccentro-meter being quantified as three rainbow socks and so on down to the ladder to the least quirky behaviors quantified by a rating of one golden trident. Is that clear? Ok. Good.
Music (Rating: 2 Silver Pigs)
My favorite music to write to is either Bach or techno, usually blasting through high end headphones. For reasons I just don't understand, I find both of them incredibly centering when I'm in a writing groove. I think something about the rhythm of the music blocks out what would normally inhibit my brain from getting words down. Give me some Crystal Method and I could write for hours! (Not to be confused with Crystal Meth, which I believe would only make me curl up in a fetal ball for hours while thinking I was a hamster... not that I have anything against hamsters).
Do you like your eyes? Would you like to keep from gouging them out? (Rating: 7 Magical Unicorns)
Here's a helpful eccentricity of mine: Back your work up constantly and at as many sources as possible!
Before the Great Hard Drive Crash of 1997, I was a sporadic saver and usually only at one source. Then the aforementioned GHDC97 happened. Losing everything you've ever written is an unbearable pain, trust me on this. Much was salvaged through print outs and such, but much was lost- some for the betterment of humanity but much that I lament missing to this day.
So why put yourself through it? With todays tech, there's simply no excuse and since people actually PAY me for my words now, backing up is a financial necessity. This might be overkill but at any given time, my daily work is on my work laptop, home computer, a
One of those is a fabrication... let's see if you can guess which one. I bet you think it's Gunther, don't you? Fools!
Nature abhors a vacuum and so do my writing sessions! (Rating: 10 Bronzed Sockmonkeys)
Some writers like to work in a quiet controlled environment to "concentrate." To that I say: Fuck concentration!
Now before you strike me down, yes, I'll admit that there is a time to buckle down, but I consider that more of a crunch time activity. Like when you've spent your advance on booze, broads and blow (not necessarily in that order) and your book is due in three days and you haven't written more than a cocktail napkin worth of notes. Fine, you writing cowards, then you can go and concentrate.
It ain't for me, though, and you should listen to me because I'm a profeshunal writer who uses words like "ain't". Creating stories in a soundless vacuum of concentration kills too much of how I like to write so I always have some form of distraction going on in the back ground. Playlists, podcasts, Venture Brothers marathons, any house flipping show... the list goes on and on. That way, there is always source material to lift from in times of creative drought!
As writers, we should already be functioning as human video recorders, constantly catching bits of the world around us to flavor our writing. My brain is a sieve with content constantly pouring through it. Then when I find myself stuck trying to describe something in my book, I give my brain a good shake. (Please note: The League of Reluctant Adults does not advocate the actual physical shaking of your brain) The mesh filter at the bottom of my brainpan catches all the snippets from that background noise, mixes them up after having been steeped in my cerebral fluid and eventually I find something new and interesting for my work.
I could go on and on about all this, but I figure your little eyes are about all dried up from reading this amount so I'll be signing off now. Until next week, my not-so-gentle readers.
Oh, and one more final eccentricity I almost forgot! I prefer to write while eating PEZ, sans dispenser. More specifically, PEZ that my loyal and thoughtful fanbase has sent me...