The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Monday, November 17, 2014

What Writers Need

        In the years that I've been writing, I've discovered some things that I need as a writer. Please feel free to add what you need as a writer...

  • Quiet. Or instrumental music. I love Paramore. I love Regina Spektor. I love really loud funk and disco and Jethro Tull. However, I can't write when music with lyrics is playing. I get distracted. (I probably need Ritalin.)


                                           This isn't as quirky as Regina Spektor usually gets,
                                                                        but it is lovely...


  • Food. I love hearty soups--stuff that I can ladle into a bowl, slurp up, and get back to writing. Pistachio nuts are also great--it takes me time to shell one, and while I'm doing that, my brain gets a break, and sometimes an inspired event occurs.
       Here is a soup my husband makes. It's one of my favorites. He does most all of the cooking at our house.

BLT Soup

1.  Cook one 12-oz. package of center-cut bacon.     Cook until well done.
                   2.  Remove the bacon from the pan. Drain half of the grease (leaving 3 tablespoons).
                   3.  Add one 18-oz. package of romaine hearts lettuce. Cook until well-wilted.
                   4.  Chop the cooked bacon into half-inch pieces. Add the bacon to the lettuce.
                   5.  Add 4 cans of tomatoes (fire-roasted ones—by Hunts—work well), liquid along with
                        the tomatoes.
                   6.  Add 4 cups of chicken stock.
                   7.  Add 2 tablespoons of “seasoning for greens.” (You can find this in most spice shops.
                        It's optional, but it does add some kick to the soup.)
                   8.  Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke.
                   9.  Bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat. Stir in one cup of grated parmesan cheese. Simmer
                        for 30 minutes.

Adjust spices as needed. You can serve with some croutons in each bowl of soup.
 
  • Honesty. I appreciate my critique group. They tell the truth. When my beginning stinks, they tell me. When my story is confusing, they say, "Huh? You lost me..." When my ending falls flat, they give me suggestions to help pick it up. Writers who want their writing to grow don't need a fan club to surround them--they need honest critique of their work.
What do you need as a writer?

17 comments:

  1. I am your clone. I need quiet too and the music must be instrumental most of the time. I need the quiet to be uninterrupted too! I consider the thinking and pondering stages part of writing too...not just hitting the keyboard. Sometimes I need a jump start time where I read something that is written in the vein I want to write in...sort of helps me get up to speed!
    This soup sounds amazing! I have never ever heard of any soup similar...romaine! Wow.

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    1. Claudia-The pondering is definitely part of the writing process.

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  2. Regina Spektor is an amazing singer-song writer. More than that she is an accomplished classically trained pianist. I heard an interview with her on NPR. She was so amazing and sincere. She said that when she arrived in American the one thing that amazed her most was white bread. Also, she is a good friend of the love of my life, Zooey Dechanel. They both have big beautiful eyes. When she came to town for a concert, I immediately got tickets. Seeing Regina Spektor is one of the great concerts of my life. (Regina=Queen, Spektor=Ghost)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael--The next time you see Zooey, say hi for me. ;)

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  3. I'm totally with you on the quiet, the soup, and the music w/out lyrics. OR, I like music with foreign lyrics, especially Spanish. I love Luz Casal and Soraya.

    My dear friend and beard, Buck, calls me Princess Pistachio, because i am a "nut". *grin*

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    Replies
    1. Shay-I'll have to check out Luz Casal and Soraya.

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  4. When I'm rolling, quiet doesn't matter. I could block out a class of 23 restless freshmen during 7th hour on a full moon Friday with a snowstorm moving in. Not that I WOULD, of course.

    I used to need my 44 oz. Diet Coke full of ice, to sip on throughout the endless summer days. Nothing got my creative juices flowing like the first few slurps of my magical elixir. Alas, I have given up my caramel-colored master, the kola nut. It did not agree with my blood-thinner medicine. Their fight for supremacy gave me aching joints.

    Now I just need a block of time, at least two hours, when I don't have any pressing engagements to worry about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Val---I love chai tea--with sugar and milk added. Chill it, and that is MY treat during some writing sessions...

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  5. I need quiet to write and hot showers or baths to think up scathingly brilliant stuff (or ways out of the stinky stuff I've just written).

    A good book, friends who make me laugh, and a heater by my feet are also necessary, just in general. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baths...long, hot baths... Now that is something I'd love to try, but with only one bathroom in our house, it's nearly impossible to get the bathroom to myself for any length of time.

      Sigh.

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  6. Gah! Blogger hates me. I just wrote a whole big 'ol message and Blogger LOST it. Geez. Okay, well, here's the shorter version.

    First, thanks for the link. I've never heard that artist before, but I'll definitely YouTube her now. :)

    Next was the soup -- just YUM! You had me at "bacon."

    Writerly needs---the quieter the better. Music is a distraction for me, as is the TV. I hide in my "cave" (my upstairs office) with the door cracked enough to allow the fur-babies in. Food is always allowed in the cave, and I have too many favorites to list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa--Since you've passed on at least one monkey that's on my back (Castle) I am happy to try and return the favor--either musically or via food. (I brought some of this soup to our latest critique session; the soup was declared WWWP worthy.)

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  7. Holiday music has been my inspiration lately. I need quiet, and that is why I rise at 4:00 a.m. I need someone who shares the room with me to turn the speaker phone off while he's on hold listening to a menu in Spanish and English. I need that same person to stop talking to himself. I need a cup of tea. I need the support of my WWWPs.

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    Replies
    1. Linda--Who is that bothersome "someone" you speak of? I agree--early mornings are often good times for me to write as well.

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  8. My vote goes to "quiet". I'm way too easily distracted. And by the way, that soup recipe sounds awesome. Much as I'd like to be a noble vegetarian, bacon makes everything better.

    Pat
    Critter Alley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat--I don't eat red meat, but when it comes to bacon, well...

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Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by...