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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Author Insight: Writerly Conveniences

Outside of the internet, what's your biggest writerly convenience?

"My iPhone. I take it with me hiking and stop and tap out notes to myself as emails, sometimes whole passages skitter out on that tiny screen." - Daniel Marks, author of Velveteen.

"My shower. I swear it’s magic. When I am having trouble writing, somehow water flowing over my head always jumpstarts my good ideas." - Lenore Appelhans, author of Level 2.

"The dictionary, of course. Often I know what a word means in a general sense, but not in a specific one. And precision of language is obviously very important to a writer. Which is why I’m constantly getting up from my chair to bop on over to the Oxford English Dictionary, consult its pages." - Lili Peloquin, author of The Innocents

"My word processor, definitely. When I started writing as a kid I used my mom's typewriter--that's what I learned on. But later, my family got a computer. I started using a word processor, and the flexibility astounded me, especially in fixing errors and moving things around. These days I mostly take it for granted, but I also wonder if there are any weaknesses produced by all of this convenience. (I haven't wondered enough yet to give it up, though.)" - Steven Arntson, author of The Wrap-Up List.

"Do you know how much I wish I could say Personal Chef here? I'm always so jealous of the authors who have spouses who are great cooks and they can write away until the magic words 'dinner is ready' are called. The only thing I can think of is that I have both a laptop and a desktop computer, along with a treadmill desk and a regular desk. I can switch things up so I'm not always sitting or not always standing, and I like having the option." - Lisa Schroeder, author of Falling for You

"Diet Mountain Dew. It’s my go-go juice." - Allen Zadoff, author of Since You Left Me.

"The biggest convenience for me is a supportive, generous writing community. Among the members of my critique group, as well as other writing friends, all give freely of their time, knowledge, and insight, and at a moment’s notice when necessary. And ditto for my husband and daughter, my first readers." - Pamela Mingle, author of Kissing Shakespeare.

"Coffee shops. Writing can be lonely; there are times when the ability to work away from my apartment is a godsend." - Kathleen Peacock, author of Hemlock.

"My hand cannot keep up with my brain, so I'm useless with a notebook and pen. I take my macbook with me everywhere. Just in case inspiration strikes." - Trish Doller, author of Something Like Normal

"The writing software Scrivener, which has cost me an eye-watering amount of money over the years as it's meant I had to buy MacBooks (yes, I know there's a Windows port now. Too late, I have drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and am an iPhone-carrying cult member)." - Helen Keeble, autor of Fang Girl

"My writing cabin is my biggest writerly convenience. I can go there in peace and not be interrupted when I need to sink into a scene. And iTunes! Must have good music to write, always. Also, I can't say enough about Writer's Digest Howdunit series. Without these, I'd never be able to poison, stab, shoot, arrest, or investigate characters with any confidence." - Susan Vaught, author of Freaks Like Us

On Thursday, learn what is the biggest writerly convenience for the rest of the authors. 

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