Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

What’s your favorite writing method? Longhand or computer? What music helps you write?

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From time to time I have written about various sorts of software for writers, and I even told you about my favorite text “tool,” the little AlphaSmart Neo keyboard, which might be the handiest, niftiest little word processor in the world.

Personally, I sometimes enjoy just sitting down with just a couple of Bic pens, a spiral-bound tablet, and a cool beverage or nice cup of my wife’s coffee. (She NEVER drinks coffee, but she brews the absolutely best coffee in the world.) Those are the days when I’ve just had it with the keyboard, don’t feel like facing the distractions posed by my always-online DSL connection, and simply want to write.

Most of the time, however, I write sitting in this recliner with my aging Toshiba laptop settled in front of me on my Tablemate adjustable stand.

I also enjoy having good music playing while I work, don’t you? If I’m working in a room at the library, I generally have ear buds in while I listen to a few CDs I’ve loaded into Windows Media Player and iTunes. I’m partial to jazz, “smooth jazz,” big-band swing music, and classical symphonies, pretty much in that order. There are no finer songs ever written and recorded for making the old blood flow and creative juices stir than Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” and Benny Goodman’s “Sing Sing Sing” (the original long version).

For the best of majestic, beautiful music that soars, I prefer Beethoven’s Sixth and Ninth Symphonies, with Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony right up there, too.

What’s your favorite writing method? Do you have an office you work in, or just wherever you can find space at home? Any music preferences? Tell us about it.
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