June 22, 2010

Physical Cues to Write

I recently read somewhere that you can train yourself to react physically to cues, to help you want to write. Makes sense. Here’s how.

When you sit down to write, begin to work, then pause and play some pleasurable music, softly. Continue to work. Do this each time you sit to write. Eventually, when you hear that music, you will physically want to write.

I have found this principle works for me. Unfortunately, I think I’ve developed some bad habits.

Even though I have a lovely little office space with a desk, I like to write with my laptop in the living room, when everyone else is in bed, and have HGTV playing on the television. There’s something soothing about people finding the perfect home for their family, or renovating a room so it shines. Makes me want to renovate my writing so it shines.

Another thing I have taken to doing, is buying some luscious dark chocolate at the grocery store, and tucking it away in a secret spot for late night writing dates. Just a couple of squares, slowly savoured is enough to tempt me back for another rendezvous.

My third bad habit, is chewing gum while I write. I stock up on bubblegum and chomp until my chops are sore. I blow bubbles without restraint, and snap my gum with glee, knowing there is no one watching. Even a lady can chew like a trucker when she’s writing prose alone.

I wonder if there is a way to train myself to write while I exercise?

Do you have any habits, good or bad, which provide physical cues to get you writing?

Dorothy Bentley


  1. Oh what fun it was to read your posting! I could totally relate to watching those home shows on HGTV, savoring squares of dark chocolate, and the intense gum chewing (when not in public)......

    Mmmm, let's see, I don't know how it relates to my writing, but now that you've given me the idea.......

  2. Glad you enjoyed the post! Now you've got me curious... Anything you can share?

  3. Something that always gets me motivated to write is watching a thriller such as "Red Eye", or even a good drama like "A Knight's Tale." However, I can't do that every day, so on days when I don't have children's ministry, I get dressed, do my hair and make-up and go to work - which is my quiet basement where I have Laura Secord chocolates tucked away in the cupboard beside the keyboard. For sustenance only, of course.

  4. (Hmmm... Laura Secord--I understand.) What a lovely way to start a writing day, by dressing, doing your hair and make-up. I should try that:)

  5. For a while, naptime was my cue... I'd get my daughter to sleep (usually by rocking or cuddling with her) and then head for my computer. As I was rocking her, I could think ahead to what I'd write when I got to my computer... so when I got there, I was ready to write. :)

  6. Oh, and the mocha... I got into this habit of making myself a mocha (instant coffee and hot chocolate) before sitting down at the computer. :)


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.