Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Perfect Writing Companion . . .

When you settle down to write, is there something that you always have to have with you? Like when students go for an test, they take in their lucky charm?

Ok, that may have been a bad example. You don't really need a lucky charm to just sit down and write. You just need your writer's brain and imagination. But you know what I mean.

When I sit down to write, besides having the appropriate music on (after spending hours of wasting time and trying to decide what to actually listen to) I have to have a drink - mainly a cup of tea. But it can't be just any cup of tea. It has to be made to a specific standard. It has to be strong but milky so that it has the perfect consistency. I can't look into it and see the remains of the water, but yet it shouldn't look like a mug of milk, either. It has to be just right. And I NEVER leave the tea bag in to stew (yes, I use teabags, not tea leaves. I is common.) I find when you do this the tea creates a film on top, and when I drink it, I imagine it to be lining my insides. (Random Fact: Did you know, if you have heart problems the doctors prefer you not to drink too much tea as the film does just that. It's not good.)

But this doesn't say I'm fussy when it comes to tea - oh Lord no. If someone offers me a cuppa, I'll happily accept and drink it with out worrying. But coffee, however, is a different matter. I rarely have coffee when I'm out because if it's not made to my standards I don't enjoy it. I like a heaped teaspoon of coffee, followed by a substantial amount of milk to compensate with the amount of coffee, and then followed by the water. If you pour the boiling water straight onto the coffee before adding the milk, it scolds the coffee and gives it a bitter taste. I don't know about anyone else, but I can taste it.

Anyway, another of my 'must-have-with-me's' is my cat. I find it comforting having her with me. If I'm curled up on the sofa with my laptop on my lap, she curls up next to me and purrs away while I type, and if I'm on my computer - which I am most of the day seeing as I work from home - then she sits either on the back of my chair or the computer desk between me and the monitor. Yes, she gets in the way sitting here, and I often struggle to see the tabs at the bottom of the screen, but again I like it so I work round her.

I do have to wonder though, whether she's jealous of the fact I sometimes pay the computer more attention than her and she just has to flaunt herself to remind me that she's there and needs some loving. Hmmm . . . jealous puddy cat . . .

Anyway, so these are just a few of my writing companions, and I tell you this because I can't think of anything else to blog. So what about you guys? Is there something that you have to have with you when writing?


  1. I like something to drink too. Coffee's best, but I'll take tea. And I need actual paper and pencils, even though I'm composing on the computer. Sometimes my brain doesn't work unless I have a pencil in my hand. No idea why.

  2. It's hard for me to start writing until I've answered my email. I hate having it hang over my head.

  3. Amanda, I can't work with paper and pencil anymore. I used to before the days of owning a computer. All my work was hand-written. I have a friend who is the same as you, who likes to work on paper first - but I can't do it anymore.

    Maria - I know the feeling. I just have to answer emails, check out blogs and check my facebook before I do anything. It's such a

  4. To make sure your cat will be there in perpetuity, have her stuffed.

    As for me, I make sure my muse is available. If she's having tea with Douglas Adams (he's a great help for ideas) I wait until she's ready.