There is certainly no universal answer for all writers. Some choose to write every day with religious fervor, whether they feel inspired or not. Other choose to write at certain hours of the day, in certain rooms. Still others need music or coffee shop noise to get their writing done.
In addition to place, there is the writing medium to consider as well. There are some old-school writers who believe that the only way to harness their best work is by using pen and paper and good old cursive handwriting. One writer I know does her first draft work strictly on pen and paper. Her reasoning is that when she goes to transcribe the work using a computer, she actually does her first edit at that time. While it seems like a lot of work to write something and then type it, I see the advantage and sometimes wonder if I shouldn't go back to it. There's something to be said for the stream of consciousness that happens with pen and paper that may not happen under the glow of the computer screen. (I'm not saying it doesn't happen, just that it's different.)
I'm guessing that perhaps the majority in this day and age use a computer or laptop to get their thoughts down. With the advantage of spell check, cut and paste, and the ability to write almost anywhere (indoors) with a laptop, some find it easier to work strictly digital - nothing wrong with that approach either.
So what methods do I use and when do I write?
The answer is, it depends.
In the days before I had a laptop, I used to write my stories out longhand and then transcribe them using the
While I used to write the "hard way," now I do almost all of my writing on the laptop. This gives me freedom to do it in the comfort of my living room, often times with one or more other family members in the same room with me. We never have the TV on, so it is kind of a detached attachment for all of us. My wife does a lot of her work from her laptop across the room from me and as pathetic as it may sound, it is how we roll. It is together time, and we frequently interrupt each other to talk or joke about something we've seen or heard. To us it's no stranger than sitting together watching some stupid sitcom, and at least we're getting something done.
So while I write almost every day, my one sacred indulgence is a two hour window on a Saturday. This is when I go to a local coffee shop and get my most productive work done. I've become dependent and protective of those hours, sort of like going to work, without going to work. I need to be there. I want to be there. If I'm denied it, I get resentful. It's part of the reason I work like a dog in the morning hours around the house, so that I can get a couple hours away to pen my thoughts.
One of the few remaining outlets that I use longhand writing for is in my kids' journal. I started journaling
That in a nutshell is when and how I do it. Between all of those methods and routines, as well as this blog, I keep myself sharp. With all of it, some pieces are better than others, but all of it needs to happen.
It is part of who I am.