Honestly YA is pleased to welcome the fabulous Amy DeLuca, a 2013 Golden Heart® finalist. Take it away, Amy!
We all need to write, or we wouldn’t be here. But what do you need to write? I’m not talking about theme or genre or the book of your heart. I’m talking about the actual “things” you need around you in order to perform the act of writing. If you’re anything like me, there are certain items you’ve just gotta have. Here’s my list:
Earplugs- I’m never alone. It’s kind of cozy, but it’s also kind of distracting. My husband is a nighttime news anchor, so all those things that most husbands do around the house in the evening, mine is doing in the morning and early afternoon. That sometimes includes watching sports highlights on TV, working out to loud guy-rock music, etc. As he leaves for work, my sons are getting home from school. I love my boys. They’re good kids. They are also loud. Cute, but loud. Someday I’ll have an office. With a door. <cue harp music and angel-song> For now, I have earplugs. They go in, the world goes away, and I can write. I like the squishy foam kind -- they even come in hot pink, for those who prioritize inner ear beauty.
|Earplugs of choice|
Comfortable seating- When I started my first manuscript, we owned one computer, a desk-top pc. The very attractive desk chair that matched our décor had been fine for bill-paying and web-surfing, but when it came to spending hours at a time writing… um, no.
|Chair of Pain|
The Chair of Pain went to live in the dining room. I would have loved to spend hundreds of dollars on an attractive and ergonomic desk chair. But here’s what I could afford.
|Ugly Comfort Chair|
This one is similar but about 75 percent more attractive than the pink-and-blue-flower-patterned chair that I got on clearance at Staples because clearly no one else in the world would have it. That chair clashed mightily with my color scheme, but it saved my back a world of pain.
Then a laptop became my drug of choice, and I moved Ugly Comfort Chair to the basement and writing operations over to the sofa. I write every day in the same corner, next to the lamp table where I pile my notes (I can’t seem to keep them all in the computer. Apparently I need to scribble on scraps as well) with a pillow behind that crummy back of mine.
The only thing better than writing on the sofa with a pillow is adding a heating blanket during the cold months, which in Rhode Island in my old house, equals nine months a year. It’s amazing how much better it is to write with my warm little blanket buddy.
Proper writing attire- Which day did God create yoga pants? I’m not sure, but I’m thankful for them. They’re the perfect writing uniform, providing ultimate comfort while casting the illusion that I am a person who exercises. And should the urge to leave my cozy couch corner and perform exercise ever suddenly strike, I’m dressed for it.
Beverage of choice- I’m a tea-aholic. I drink it all day long (mostly de-caf or herbal), and I have a pantry full of tea varieties to prove it. If I’m writing, there’s a mug of tea next to me.
A beat sheet- I started off a pantser, then read Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat and converted. If you want to check out his downloadable beat sheet, it’s here: http://www.blakesnyder.com/tools/
More recently, I read My Story Can Beat Up Your Story by screenwriter Jeffrey Alan Schechter. I print out his “Plot Not Plotz” form and fill in my scenes before starting a first draft, then keep it nearby to make sure my plot points stay on track as the story progresses. That form is available here: http://www.mscbuys.com/plot-not-plotz/
Now, I’m not permanently chained to the couch. I have also been known to write in cars, at playgrounds and swimming pools, but for me that’s more about getting down ideas than writing the manuscript. And the tea and the beat sheet go with me.
So, that’s my personal weirdness. What do you need to write?