| Angie Counios

The routine of writing

More thoughts after reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield:

  • What does it look like when I write?
  • What do I do?
  • What it looks like to be an imaginary third party in the room?

Here is a detailed description of what it looks like when I write alone (without Dave) on days when I do not go to work to teach.

Writing on non-school days

I get out of bed and go to the kitchen. I don’t turn on any lights. It’s still dark out in the winter. I turn the music on first. I listen from the iPod docking station on the kitchen table. Lately I’ve been listening to a station called koffee (http://www.koffee.com.au/koffee-player) from Australia. I don’t recognize a lot of music they play and it’s pretty mellow. I like that. I turn on the coffee which is prepared the night before. It drips. Still no lights.

Today, I lit some incense. I do this frequently but not every single time. I have nice memories of a fellow artist from the early ninety’s sharing a studio and always lighting incense to offset the smell of oil paints and turpentine. It was a creative time.

Next, I turn on the computer at the kitchen table. I have a password on it which is weird because I live alone. *Shrug.* The screen is too bright.

I go to the bathroom and shower.

I get dressed—Thai fisherman pants or sweats and a cozy sweater. I make sure I’m warm.

I get my coffee, turn on a lamp, not the kitchen light, and sit at the table. I write in my journal with a pen—you know, like in the olden days. When I’m done I finally get to the laptop. I write, either a blog post or work on a story. I get up once in awhile to warm up my coffee.

I work until I’m done. I usually know I’m done because I get hungry or my mind wanders. The time span depends on a lot how much I put in or how easily the words come out.

My follow up activity is often going back to my journal to draw.

The follow-up to my follow-up is to run on my treadmill with no visual stimulation, sometimes no music either so that I can go through what I wrote in my head. Sounds boring to some but there’s a lot that needs sorting.

Writing on school days

Well, I walk in the door and immediately smell Nag Champa incense. No need to light it. Sweet scent of home. I go upstairs and get into more comfortable clothes. I also take off all my bracelets. I wear a lot and I like them but they get in the way if I’m writing for more than five minutes.

The radio is optional. Sometimes it’s on, sometimes it’s off. Probably because I teach high school and the classroom can get a little noisy. So quiet is nice. I have a blanket nearby because I hate being cold. Yesterday’s post was done while I snuggled in under a very fuzzy, very soft, very warm blanket.

I sit on the couch and not at the table, probably because I’m typically at a desk for a good part of the day. No beverage. No snack. I just write until I need to eat or meet a goal.

Evening writing feels more efficient since I will keep myself focused until I reach a goal (whatever that may be) and then go socialize, or work out or watch a movie.

When I’m done whether it’s a work day or not I always say “good job, Ang.” I mean someone’s got to sing my praises, so why not me!

So, that’s what it looks like...

Now that I’ve got it down in words I don’t mind the image of it. I do feel I need to give thanks or say a prayer at the beginning and the end of my writing work time.

I suppose when I no longer go to the other job, there will be a revamping of my process.

Good job, Ang.

Tags: Process

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