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  • From Cigarette to Mozart – Personal Writing Habits

    Posted on September 13th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    Writing is a very personal thing! Thanks to the convenience of internet, now web writing or blogging has become very popular, but we still won’t see group writing activities except discussion in forums or social media network.

    Many of my friends write blogs, including my father, sister and brother, and I found it’s interesting that everyone has his or her own writing preferences about when, how and what to write. For instance, my brother writes about photography and my sister blogs about baking and gourmet food. Or my friend Jay blogs about internet marketing and he and Wei co-write about Poker game. For me, I write just about everything, from running shoes to Frank Lloyd Wright. People often ask me “where do you find the topics?”

    I think finding the topic is the key to writing, doesn’t matter it’s for printed publishing or electronic publishing. Most of people write about their own experience or story, but of course it will be very limited and narrow if it has to be “personal” experience or story. Therefore I found it’s interesting how the popular science fiction author Frank Schatzing finds his topics. Schatzing likes to read/study science papers first then discuss with couple hundred scientists. Then he thinks about if he will turn the topic into a novel or not. For instance he would read about the life in the ocean, and then turns the dry topic of ocean life migration into a science fiction about sea shelf collapses and killing thousands in Europe, and the seas and their inhabitants begin a violent revolution against mankind. I found this story so mind grabbing that those ship sinking whale or eyeless crabs are becoming more fascinating than personal characters. If I was to read those marine life or ocean biology, I would fall asleep on the second paragraph.

    When it comes to personal writing habit, my sister swears by cigarette, and I know some people can’t write without being a little buzzed. For me, I like to gather and organize my thoughts in my head first, sometimes for couple days, then I need my dosage of caffeine and music to get the words out of my head. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but I need variety of classical music, so KDFC has always been my favorite. Freshly brewed hot coffee is another must for me, and I like to write in the comfort of my own space instead of public places like Starbucks. By the way, I can’t write late at night, because I can’t spell when my mind is tired. But of course there are times when my brain works like over-drive, and then I don’t need any thing to tackle my writing.

    So what are your writing habits? Is it swinging or running like Haruki Murakami, or writing while standing up like Hemingway? Like I said, writing is a very personal thing!


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