Sunday, March 24, 2013

Special Guest Sunday- R.C. Murphy

Hi everyone, please help me welcome my special guest for Special Guest Sunday- R.C. Murphy, as she discusses writing rituals.

Odd Little Creatures of Habit
By R.C. Murphy

Writers are weird, there is no point in arguing the fact. We sit around day in and day out talking to the voices in our head. And at some point, we begin to concoct rituals, habits we feel are the only way to successfully meet the day’s word/page count goals. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason for what we do. Other times writing cannot and will not happen unless things are done a certain way. Here, I’ll give you a few examples.
Music. Every project I start has its own soundtrack. What artists work for Project A won’t for Project C or D. Sometimes I don’t know why a certain band jars me out of the scene I’m working on. Other times, the characters tell me they don’t like the music and ask for a change. While writing Enslaved I had a heck of a time with music and sometimes found myself writing to nothing. Why? Deryck is a horse’s arse. He wouldn’t pick his music. Whereas, Shayla had her tunes all sorted out and was ready to go whenever I turned them on. Any time I switched POV (point of view) from one to the other, I’d have the Great Music Fight all over again.
Clutter. During the end-of-book rush to meet the deadline, little things like chores and eating properly tend to get thrown to the wayside. This is true for about 95% of my house. However, the one exemption is my desk. See, it is old and tiny with barely enough room to fit my computer, a lamp, a box of tissues, and a trio of “companions”—a skull named Richard, and two stuffed skeleton monkeys. All of the notes I have for upcoming projects are slapped onto a work board above my desk. On the rare occasion other things land on my desk—usually from a family member leaving a pile of laundry or passing off books to read—I have to put everything away, or at least out of sight. Clutter distracts me far worse than any noise. Heck, a clown could be hiding in the corner of my office playing peek-a-boo and I’d be able to ignore it better than a stack of books on the edge of my desk.
I’ve heard other writers claim they cannot work without a cup of tea/coffee at hand. Some must have absolute silence. Others need the chaos of a cafĂ© to inspire their muse. Whatever ritual or habit they form morphs to fit the project at hand. Our minds are far more flexible than we wish to admit because habits are comforting. Writers need the warm and fluffy of something familiar when they dig into the dark goop at the bottom of their subconscious to create complex, flawed characters and stories. Whatever your ritual, don’t be ashamed . . . unless it involves licking the soles of shoes, then you might want to see a shrink.




Thank you so much, R.C. for stopping by.  I have never thought of rituals that way before, but you are completed right.  I know I can't write without a drink by my side, that I can lean back look at what I wrote, take a sip, and then dive in again typing furiously toward the finish line.

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