Monday, April 23, 2012

Weird Writing Habits

I'm a Little OCD:
Do you have a teeny bit of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) running through your veins?  I think all of us do to some extent.  For me the toilet paper has to roll over the top...the dishwasher has to be loaded a certain dog has to walk on my left get the picture.  Nothing too extravagant...just silly little things that drive me nuts.                               

I will actually turn the toilet paper roll around in my client's home if it's not rolling over the top.  And I will reload the dishwasher if another provider, or even my client's mother, has already started loading it.  And it's not even my home!!  I don't know why...I just have to do it.  Go figure.  She has to notice, but I've been going in her home for seven years and she's never said a thing so maybe she just doesn't mind.  And even if it's my grandsons walking my dog, I ask them to walk her on their left.  Why?  I have no explainable reason.  It just has to be that way.  Weird or what?

And I've found I have the same little bitty problem with my writing.  For reasons I can't explain I have to start anything that pertains to my novel on a big, yellow legal pad (or it can be white, I'm flexible here).  I can't seem to make any progress starting it in a word doc on my computer.  It just doesn't work for me.  Instead, I get myself set up on my dining room table with my legal pad, sharpened pencils and, oh yea, my index cards if its a novel I'm starting. 

This is how I create...messy, but effective
 Even if it's a query or a synopsis, I have to be able to write, scratch out, erase, or run arrows up to a former paragraph to make a point.  No matter what I'm writing, when I finish a page, it's covered with scribblings on the side, lots of arrows, sentences scratched out and new ones written above or carets added throughout.  I just can't seem to write any other way.  The messier my table, the more creative I feel, and the better the ideas seem to flow.    

Sometimes (sadly, not always) the ideas come faster than I can write, so I have to use post-it notes to jot down an idea till I actually get to the place in the story where that idea goes.  I use a lot of post-it notes.  But all in all, when I get an actual page or chapter that I'm happy with, then I can finally transfer it to the word doc sitting patiently on my computer.  It'll go through more changes and edits after it's in the word doc, but the scene or the idea as a whole has to be finished before I can turn to the computer.  It just has to be.  No explainable reason except that I can't write any other way. 

Except for my blog.  Hmmm, I don't know why, but I write my blog on an empty blog page and do all the editing right here on the site.  Now what sense does that make? 

Oh, and I can't talk about a novel I'm working on while I'm still working on it.  I won't talk about it till it's finished and The End has been typed.  Then ask me all you want...but not until it's finished.  But that might not be OCD, that might just be plain, old superstition.

Do you have any writing habits that you have to follow to be able to write?  And does anyone else feel as I do...that it has to be written on paper before it can go on the computer?  I would love to hear how others write.

Quotes of the Day:
I have sporadic OCD cleaning moments around the house. But then I get lazy and I'm cured. It's a very inconsistent personality trait. ~ Chris Hemsworth

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. ~ Virginia Woolf


Karen Lynne said...

Totally understand that dishwasher issue!

Karen said...

I'm so hoping she's not offended when I do Maybe I should mention it to her...just to see if she's 7 years.

Tari said...

OMG...I am that way with a quilt. If I am putting wording and specific designs on it, I print a grid out and then I design the quilt on paper before I lay it out with the actual fabric. I may do some minor adjusting once I am laying it out right before stitching, but I get my basic layout on paper 1st...ALWAYS!!! OCD traits must run in the I MUST have the toilet paper over as well. I walk the dogs on my right side. My dish drainer gets stacked a specific way or it makes me crazy lol Everything has it's place and I know when someone has touched my stuff!! LMAO

Karen said...

OCD is a strange, creepy little thing, isn't it? It plays with your brain and makes you do things for no apparent reason. Go figure.