I Need Coffee and Chocolate!

First day back to “normal” routine and I thought it was worth reflecting on what makes me productive or otherwise as a writer.

I am definitely less productive when I’m out of routine or have something on my mind. Having said that, I am getting better at giving my current feelings to a character and writing up a case study for future use. For example:-

“Tanner paced unseeing around his office. Picking up the same piece of paper he read the first paragraph again without taking anything in. His head felt full of cotton wool and maybe he was developing a headache.
          He sat on the edge of his seat and stared out of the window without seeing the view and when he looked down a while later, he had unravelled the cotton at the hem of his shirt. Moaning he hid his head in his hands before heading to the kitchen for yet another cup of tea.
          Once in the kitchen, he switched on the kettle. He stared out of the window while it was boiling and didn’t hear it click off. He suddenly couldn’t remember why he was there and wandered back to his office.”

What does make me productive?

1. Good coffee.

2. Chocolate (doesn’t do much for my figure though).

3. A tidy house and study (I don’t need to feel guilty then).

4. A target.

5. Visits to local cafes to write.

6. Writing whilst waiting – appointments, son’s swimming and piano lessons.

7. Successes and praise.

8. A story and characters that won’t go away.

I visited Sainsbury’s café this morning and was more productive than I have been for most of the Christmas holiday. What makes you write more?

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels. http://mortonsgray.com


  1. I agree with all of your points – definitely the tidy house point! I do feel less guilty then. Stupid as I've told hubby I want to be a writer!

    Although I haven't tried writing in a café yet. Maybe when Kieran starts school, I'll have more time for that activity.

    And I'm always doing what Tanner does. Walking into a room, forgetting what I went in there for.


  2. No internet is clearly a good thing. It helps if I'm not reading every email as it arrives. lol

    Having the kids back in school is also a huge help. I don't know if it's the routine or just having them also working, but it is a big difference.


  3. I admit I'm not great with housework; I'm tidy but something's gotta give and it tends to be the housework. Having deadlines helps me; one reason why I've entered so many comps in my time. NaNo was cool too for pushing me. I've learned not to read everything back all the time but instead just to keep writing till it's done, that's the most important thing I've learned which has helped me to finish a book.


  4. Hi Girls,

    Rachel – I'm not sure I could manage without my internet connection now.

    Christine – Good luck with routine hunting.

    Teresa – You must try cafe writing. Ellie Swoop and I have such fun. I did drop my housework standards in 2010 andasked hubbie if he had noticed the difference. He hadn't!!

    Julia – I am setting myself rules about the internet connection, hence only replying to blog comments once a day.

    Serenity – I almost wish there was a Nano comp every other month to get me writing the quantity. I'll try the writing withour re-reading and see if it helps.

    Thanks for your comments. Mx


  5. Hello! My little netbook is my weapon and has revolutionised my writing. I take it out when I am on the activity run for the daughter and type away while she is at gym/tennis/Beavers etc then, on a Fri, my precious day off I take it to the gym. An hour's exercise then I spend the rest of the day in the cafe there working. The huge mark up stops me snacking, I have deliberately not got their wifi password and I am not at home so I can't tidy. It's run some more or write and I'd rather write than exercise any day!


  6. Mmmm Rose Red, I've been tempted by a netbook! My problem is I get all the advantages you are talking about from writing away from home, but I have to copy up everything when I get home. I don't always do it, so have notebooks overflowing my study. Maybe need to save for a little device! Mx


  7. Dear Morton,
    Have great sympathy with Tanner and all that you say. I'm sitting here on the wonderful, tempting, sleek black laptop that behaves much better than any computer I've had before, and I'm still avoiding writing! Except to you, of course. Time for Ellie to get blogging and see what's going on in the inner psyche of an over-comfortable writer with an attack of the lazeees! lol Having said that, I did write a poem yeterday…….


  8. Ellie – Maybe we need a meeting with our laptops to get you writing! Goodness knows you should have enough material to inspire you from the last few weeks!!

    Flowerpot – I love my tea too. As for sleep I'm ok if I don't wake in the middle of the night. If I do I'm tempted to get up and write and then feel awful the next day.

    I've certainly got some good comments on this blog post! Mx


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