Writing aid?

Evidence of a day's labour?

Evidence of a day's labour?

A good writing environment is, for some people, a bit like an elaborate meal: lots of different ingredients necessary, to say nothing of the process of putting things together in the right order for the right amount of time. Everyone’s recipe is different, but I wonder if there are many that don’t include a strong cup of coffee?

There’s something quintessentially writerly about coffee: maybe it’s something to do with that quaint image of writers spending their days in coffee shops (the coffee shop being the cheap and social alternative to an office/study?); maybe it’s something to do with the idea of the body being subservient to the inspired mind, and the occasional requirement for stimulants to make sure deadlines are met; perhaps it’s as simple as the small comfort a steaming mug provides! Whatever the reason, Kate and I kept fixing on the coffee stain as an image that epitomised the writing (and rewriting) process throughout the recent rebrand!

After having had over a month without my normal beverage vices, I’ve realised that I enjoy the clarity that an unpoisoned mind provides – and yet, I haven’t been much inclined to pick up my pen and scribe. This afternoon, with coffee coursing through my veins, and an inability to concentrate on one thing at a time, I seem to be in a more writerly frame of mind! What’s your essential ingredient to tempt the muse and encourage the scribe? Which of your writing habits is as productive as it is destructive?

Image used under a creative commons license courtesy of Roger Karlsson on Flickr.



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2 responses to “Writing aid?

  1. I don’t drink coffee or tea… or coke… So largely I’m caffeine free. Things I do need:

    the hours between midnight and 4am
    a deadline
    Boots Botanics ‘Time to Unwind’ Pulse Point (Frankincense, Orange and Juniperberry, yum)
    Marmite on toast. But no snacky things in cupboards, otherwise that’s all I’ll do.
    Orange squash.

    Easily pleased really!

  2. -things I do not know about the script
    – dreams
    -moments logged in my brain half forgotten, half-remembered

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