Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 3, 2010
I recently borrowed a book from the library that focuses on the neurotic habits of writers. It is interesting to see that some writers like to write in empty rooms and alone, while others do it on ships, coffee shops and middle of living rooms with kids around. Then some people have quirks all the way down to writing a first draft in pen with a specific brand of pen and the colour of the paper (apparently yellow is often used for drafts). Of course while reading this I started to realize some of my own neurotic habits around writing. So in the interest of some entertainment of how things work to generate this blog I present: my neurotic head.
I keep a small black moleskin notebook with me most of the time to write down random ideas for blog posts. Everything from noting an interesting survey on TFSA’s where 92% of people didn’t get all five questions correct to wondering if the decay of the financial standing of the US will lead civilization’s downfall. Perhaps at best half of the ideas get used. The other half are often too short of a post or get lost in the idea bank. I consider writing for the blog more habit than difficult and generating ideas take no effort at all. Yet I will go out of my way and invent things to do avoid writing other things, but I will always write for the blog (unless I’m sick). Somehow I find the other writing more stressful than blog (even including the book based on the blog, ironic eh?).
To warm up some days for some writing I’ll open a file and just type what ever happens to come into my head for ten minutes. I often have a candle lit near me because I find the smell and the motion of the flame soothing. I prefer to write early in the morning because I enjoy the quiet of the house. Yet I can also write with the kids less than 10 feet away and playing.
I’m terrified at times at having success with my writing, like some how having a huge blog or a decent selling book would create expectations that I couldn’t live up to. I often wonder if I’m a fraud for having the readership I currently do on this blog. It’s like the feeling that you, the readers, can’t possibly be interesting my opinion of personal finance. I’m just some guy from the prairies with a wife, two kids and a crazy dream. I have often doubted that anything I’ve ever written was even good, despite the assurances of many others that at least parts of it are good.
I get downright bitchy if I don’t have some time to myself each week and it will even show up in my writing if I fail to get away for an hour. The post/page will lose a certain readability that occurs with my better writing. Interestingly enough I can handle negative feedback fine at work on my writing, but are more sensitive about my other writing.
So that’s a snap shot of my neurotic head. So if you have any doubts, yes all writers, including bloggers have their habits and odd beliefs around their work. It just comes with the job. So if you do any writing, what are your habits around it? Do you have a chair you love or an item near by when it do it? Or can you write on post it notes in the bathroom?