Friday, November 9, 2007

Strange Things That Make Me Write Better

As a writer I have a few weird habits that I use to help me write better or actually simply to make me write. About three years ago I stopped wearing a watch. Why? I didn’t like that constant reminder that time was ticking away, or I had to be somewhere, pick up someone and all that jazz.

What have I learned about not wearing a watch you might ask? A lot. I actually have more human to human contact on a daily basis now all because there are times that I really do need to know what time it is and I usually ask that simple question. “Excuse me, do you have the time?” Now I often thought I’d love to use that line on a gorgeous hunk of a guy, hoping he’d say, “For you baby I’ve got all the time in the world,” but alas that hasn’t happened so far. It’s only been three years, give me another few and we shall see if that fantasy comes true.

What I have discovered is that people love to talk and they want to be heard and listened to. I have learned so much about human behavior and the angst of what’s going on in a complete stranger’s life (sometimes it does get thrown into the story I’m working on) but I’ve also discovered people crave to talk to other people. Asking that simple time question has made me more patient. I do take the time to listen when the people I’ve asked start to talk and I usually walk away with a smile. Why? Because simply by discarding my watch I learn something new every day about someone I don’t know and that thrills me.

I also don’t own a cell phone. Now, I admit that sometimes I do use hubby’s but I hate it and most cases I never remember to even turn the blasted thing on. I’m a bit of a computer nut (not in a good sense) and I find when I’m off trying to write I’m aware that that blasted cell phone is on and I keep getting distracted by it. My fingers ache to type in a friend’s number and invite them to join me when I really should be writing. And I’m one of those people who hate listening in to other people’s cell phone conversations they’re having while waiting in line, because while I try not to listen…I admit I do. And later I’m rehashing a partial conversation in my mind with someone I don’t even know. So when I’m really pressed for a writing deadline, no cell phone for me.

I’d love to hear what tricks of the trade other writers use when they sit down to write, and I’d love to hear what “odd” things you’ve either adopted or dropped in your life. Personally, I think if we all got rid of our watches life would be a lot sweeter and much more relaxed.

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