Author/Editor Faith Bricknell Brown “Writing Companions”

 This week I welcome multi-published author and editor, Faith Bricknell Brown….welcome, Faith!

  Writing Companions 

            If you read the title and thought that writing companions are various handbooks and reference books you are correct. However, in this case you’re also wrong. How many writers need something to step into the writing mode besides paper, pencils, pens, electronic writing gadgets, typewriters, how-to books, and all the related implements? Are you scratching your head and wondering where this is going?

            A cup of coffee or something to drink is a necessity for some of us to write. Why does it seem that where there is coffee (or tea) there is also a writer? A writer’s comfort food, perhaps? Is it the caffeine? Maybe the aroma of the brew in our workspace stimulates thoughts and ideas? Do we need the sensation of warm ceramic in our hands between typing sprees in order to gather our thoughts into something coherent?

            Some writers smoke while they type and drink coffee. I once had a writer friend tell me that when she quit smoking it took her weeks to learn how to return to her writing mode. Imagine not being able to write due to the fact that you have quit smoking! Lighting a cigarette and placing it in a nearby ashtray set the mood for this writer. She soon learned to keep a jar full of Dum-Dum Lollipops on her desktop, and whenever the urge to smoke hit, she unwrapped a sucker. The Surgeon General warns that smoking is hazardous to our health, but has he ever once considered what it does to the publishing industry?

            Another writer told me that he has to have music blasting while he works. One day it may be country music, another pop, and yet another day the taste for classical may set the mood. Some of us find household confusion a reliable companion. One writer complained he couldn’t get any work done with the kids yelling and the TV blaring. Once his wife took the kids to the mall he discovered that the silence seemed louder than the chaos!

Typewriter noises are a comfort to some writers who have worked for years using that method. Converting to a computer had one friend asking advice on where to obtain typewriter .wav files so that she could adapt it to her MS Word program! Still, silence is a best friend to many writers who can’t produce material unless there is total quiet.

The Internet is a comrade, too. This may strike some writers as odd, but I know many novelists and freelancers who get into the mood to work by checking and writing email, visiting favorite websites, or participating on bulletin boards. For many, it’s simply a matter of reading online newspapers and magazines. Yes, I am guilty of a morning Net feast. After reading and responding to email, I check my web groups, and then I’m off to my online journal or my print journal where I get ready to write by composing a daily entry.

What about writing chums who breathe? Mine is a Chocolate labrador who takes up residence behind my desk chair or sprawls out across the camper floor (the camper is my private work space) while I work on my laptop. This is a comfort to me, (unless she suddenly distracts me by barking at a car that pulls in the drive and scaring the hell out of me), and stroking my pet’s ears when my fingers take a break from the keyboard keeps my hands busy as I ponder new aspects for a story or article.

My office window serves as another needed companion. A rolling field covered in round bales of hay and surrounded by trees is special to me. It’s a visual stimulator that I find enjoyable and entertaining when I need an intermission from the computer. I never know when a big buck will wander out to eat grass or a flock of turkeys will emerge, and it’s not uncommon to see a big cat or a coyote. Oddly enough, I find that I produce some of my best material on rainy days, reaching high word counts. For some reason I find the compulsion to write overwhelming on such gloomy days. If interruptions prevent me from creating prose, I turn into a grouch and suffer creative withdrawal.

Writers have a menagerie of indispensable companions. Whether they’re living or inanimate they’re a necessity for us to crank out words. There are no real answers for why writers develop particular habits and strange writing tools, but maybe these peculiarities serve as our security blankets or simply prove to be a useful routine.

What is your writing companion?

Visit my How to Avoid Writers’ Hell books for writers in the how-to section at www.wildchildpublishing.comor stop by and look for my pen names of Zinnia Hope and J. Emberglass.


14 thoughts on “Author/Editor Faith Bricknell Brown “Writing Companions”

  1. My writing companion is the Internet, though sometimes it provides more distraction than companionship! *LOL*

    I have, and on my bookmarks toolbar! They’re necessary parts of the writing process for me, particularly the thesaurus.

    I know some authors like music to write to but I rarely do that. I find it hard to concentrate on writing and listening at the same time, unless the music is tying in with what I am writing at the moment. I have one fight scene in my fantasy series that is perfectly choreographed and synched up in my head to part of the Gladiator score. *LOL*

    Sensory deprivation seems to work best for me. The curtains in my writing cave are solid black. I don’t even own a radio and I keep the MP3s off. Sometimes I’ll close out my email if I don’t want to be distracted by the little envelope constantly popping up on the bottom of the screen. I like my writing cave quiet and dark, with the only sounds being the soft hum of the computer, the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard and maybe my back massaging mat as it is kneading the tensions out. I have a Coca-Cola throw blanket I wrap up in. Only when I’m comfy, then the Muse starts working.

    My Muse is a fickle bitch.

    Carpe Noctem,

    Desirée Lee
    Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy

  2. I have to agree with you. I have to have something to drink right next to me. I also get more done when the kids are home. DOn’t know why but its true. Like right now I’m working on my new story the kids are yelling husband watching football, but I just zone them out. Unless of course they come up to me and bug me then the wolf wants to bite. Anyway love the interview and jon great job!
    Trinity Blacio

  3. I put this in the other comment box – so if you read it twice, that’s why.

    Great article, Faith. I know my companions have always been pics of hot men. heehee I know, that’s just me. But I don’t eat anything when I’m writing, and I don’t have a drink. I don’t listen to music. But dang, when I see a pic of a hot guy, that is what gives me inspiration!


  4. Hi Faith, I enjoyed your post.

    I use to drink a can or coke while I wrote but I developed heart burn and had to give it up. Now its a bottle or water, or a cup of my favorite tea. I also have a small fan close by for my hot flashes, but it also comes in handy when my writing gets too hot and I need to cool it down too, lol.


  5. Great post, Faith. I
    find I get my best writing done in complete silence. So the fact the girls are in school is a really good thing lol When I need inspiration, I usually surf travel sites. I find reading about different places and looking at pictures really sets off my muse.
    Also, I do a lot of my writing longhand. There’s just something about putting pen to paper.

  6. My current writing companion…John Mayer. Right now I am hooked on his songs and I start every writing season in my hone office with the song Bold As Love. Then it is Island in the Sun by Weezer.

    My three pets take turns on my lap and at my feet- a bit hard to type with an english bulldog in your lap.


  7. At first I thought this was about writing partners. Hmm, so I have to rethink now. What do I have as a companion? I don’t know that I have anything. I was going to say a computer but I often write on paper with a pen. Sometimes I have music or the television playing but not always. I guess I would have to say my imagination is all I need.


  8. Just a quick shout out to personally thank Faith for providing such wonderful insight – and to all the AWH writer/author friends who’s reached out to support her and my new website/blog! You guys rock!!! Jon M.

  9. I’m an early bird, so at home my constant companions are a cup of coffee and Poker After Dark playing on the TV. Although when I’m in the zone, I don’t hear anything including my hubby. I credit that ability on my children. lol Also keep a notebook with me to jot down ideas that pop into my head.


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