Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Writing in the Cold? Get Your Booties on, It Can Be Done

If there's one thing I hate in the world, it's cold. I hate to be cold, I hate cold weather, I hate cold wind...I hate almost anything cold (except chocolate ice cream). Of course, I live in the Midwest, so cold is unavoidable (yeah, that's one of those DUH things--I wasn't smart enough to settle in Florida; in my next life, I'm going to be a native of the Caribbean, I swear!).

Right now, my Weather Bug says it's -1 outside. A big improvement over the -2 when I first got up ;-). Being a wimp, I won't even venture outdoors until the temperature climbs into something with double digits.

A lot of writers, I know, feel the same way. Often, this cold, dreary weather impacts their writing, too. They would rather stay bundled up in front of a fire then write. Rather curl up on the sofa with a cozy blanket and watch "Back to the Future" for the 400th time than write. Rather do anything than move out of that warm pocket they've created to go into that cold office space and compose.

Heck, I feel your pain. In all my extremities :-)

As a charter member the "want to stay on the sofa until spring" crowd, I have found that writing on the couch is actually a nice change of pace. I'll bundle up, grab my laptop or Quickpad and compose away, staying toasty and writing while the snow falls outside the window. I have a hot cup of tea beside me (alas, no M&Ms; bathing suit season is, after all, on its way and I need to undo all that previous chocolate damage) and a pad of paper for other inspiration.

I will go into the office for shorter bursts, just to check e-mail and upload files if necessary. I find I'm actually MORE productive because my rule is if I am going to be a couch sloth, I have to be writing on the couch. And I can't check my e-mail from the sofa (well, I could, since I have a wireless network, but I don't -- I leave the program on, on the main computer, so that I can't log into it with the other ones -- yeah, I'm tricky ;-). It keeps me on track and away from all diversions except Free Cell--which is installed on my laptop.

[A side note: Gotta love Free Cell. Being a competitive soul, I love any program that tells me every game is beatable. Give me a challenge like that and I'm all over it.]

So, what's the lesson in today's blog entry? That when the LAST thing you want to do is write, you have to make a deal with yourself. You have to find your triggers. For me, my trigger is warmth. So, my deal is I'll get the big thick blanket and the comfy sofa...if I keep writing. If not, then all deals are off.

You have to enforce this with yourself, too. Be a good mommy to the writer part of you and enforce these "rules." That way, you get the best of both worlds--the writing done and the toasty toes!

Until next time, stay warm!



  1. Stay warm, Shirley, so you'll blog for us more often! It's nice to "hear" your voice again.

  2. Good to see you posting again. It's 32 here but really feels cold to this southern gal! Thin blood. I just finished Frog Prince. It is great. I am looking forward to Kissing Cat (right title?) in Feb.


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