Thursday, 9 February 2012

Guest post by Luisa Plaja - My Essential Writing Props




Ah, writing. Such fun to do, so hard to get down to. After I’ve danced the procrastination dance several times – this involves checking Twitter, emails and Facebook in ever-decreasing circles – I then begin to gather my props. I need to make sure I’m surrounded by these things as it’s a total waste of time/completely essential.

Five truly essential things for me are as follows:

- Tea. And plenty of it. I have a really big mug. I also have quite a large tea-bearing receptacle that matches my really big face, ho ho ho. Ahem. Moving swiftly on…

- Notebook. Any old notebook will do. I currently have a scruffy recycled paper one that cost 14p and feels pleasantly rough. It needs to be there for the scribbles I make while writing, which include helpful comments such as “WHERE IS THIS GOING?!”,  “HANG ON – WHAT IS THIS ACTUALLY ABOUT? Work it out!!!!!!” and “Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

- Pen. This is surprisingly difficult to achieve, as pens do not last long in my presence. They get carried away by mysterious invisible breezes and whisked into faraway lands where they roam free, occasionally resurfacing miraculously in captivity in the unlikeliest of places. Has your imagination come up with a really unlikely place? Double it. That’s where I last found my favourite pen. True fact. (Maybe.)

- Phone. This is an odd one if you bear in mind that I’m not a phone person. In fact, I’m bordering on phone-phobic. But the phone has to be there, next to me, as there might be an emergency. Or an (unwelcome, of course, tsk) interruption.

- Tea. Did I already mention tea? Well, this is a deliberate repetition. There can never be enough tea.

I recently read a post that told me I should lose all these props, though, and I think it might have had a point. Read the full article about things that writers should do here.

Do you have any essential writing props? Maybe I’ll get rid of the props above and adopt your suggestions instead…

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Luisa Plaja is the author of several triumphs over procrastination, aka books. Her latest is a teen novel called Kiss Date Love Hate, and it’s published by Random House on 2 February 2012. Find out more at her website

13 comments:

Gillian McDade said...

A lot of writers use tea, Luisa. Mmmm - am I the only one in the world who hates tea and coffee?? I'll swap for a coke anyday :) Having said that, I usually forget to eat when I'm writing.

JO said...

Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon. I can keep the phone at a distance, and sometimes (not always) manage to turn off the internet connection.

And every time I turn my back the pen-fairy creeps in a steals one. There must be a very full pen-heaven somewhere, I've lost to many.

Derek said...

Congratulations on KDLH, Luisa. For me it's peppermint tea and probably no internet access (although it ought to magically resurface for writing specific research)!

Caroline Green said...

Notebooks definitely...Moleskin ones that look like posh exercise books.

Luisa, thanks so much for coming over. I devoured KDLH in a day this week and urge you all to buy it! It's very funny and a real joy to read.

Helen Black said...

Biscuits for me.
Which is problematic because I already have an arse for radio, and frankly it doesn't need further expansion.
HB x

Susie Day said...

Oh, this all sounds horribly familiar! I fully approve of Tea appearing twice. :D

Debs Riccio said...

I finished 'Kiss, Date, Love, Hate' this morning, Luisa, and LOVED it - so fresh and funny and I loved the characters (esp. George). I miss them now - always a sign of a good book. More tea? :) x

Hayley N. Jones said...

Diet cola... I get accused of being addicted to it, but it's my favourite drink. I can stop, I just don't want to! Nothing else wakes me up and gets me ready for writing quite like diet coke.

Fionnuala said...

Diet cola, green tea though not together. Pen(s). Notebook, laptop, phone and silence... Thanks Luisa for popping by x

Luisa Plaja said...

Thanks for all the great comments. I'm definitely tempted to add the biscuits to my list...
Thank you very very much to Caroline and Debs for reading Kiss Date Love Hate, too - I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Late to this, but for me the essential (at least at this time of year) is non-edible: a hot water bottle which warms up my lap and my thoughts.
Thanks for a great post, Luisa!
Susiex

Hilary said...

Lovely post, Luisa! Tea is essential.x

sarah-painter.com said...

Great post, Luisa, and I completely agree re. the Need for Tea. And random capitalisation, apparently. I also quite like loud music and a hot water bottle for my achey lower back.