Monday, 13 June 2016


(New Notebooks and Magic Pens)


So today I wanted to talk about writing regimes. Why you may ask? Because thanks to extremely hot weather and my determination to not use the air-con (I’ll explain why in a minute) my trusty computer keeps overheating.  Therefore, unless I want to send my trusted laptop to an early grave, the whole way I write...

(cue overly dramatic music)

You see for me, my method of writing has always been the same. 

  • Butt in chair. 
  • Hands on keyboard.
  • A thirst quenching drink close to hand. 
  • A general plot written in a notebook
  • I then sit and write each scene and chapter in consecutive order. 

Then came the hot weather.

As most of you probably know, I live in China (over three years now people - yes it’s really been that long!) and China isn't exactly… well, the cleanest place. Air pollution here is pretty bad so you’ll find the air-cons tend to make you sick. At best you get a cough and a sore throat. At worse… your more than likely taking years off your life. AIR-CONS are evil.

And so I invested in an electric fan. 
Health Problems - SOLVED.
My Computer though was still overheating.
Solution: Time to mix things up!

(My Magic Pens! Steven, Gramps and Ollie - Yes I named them. Shh, it's not weird!)


So realising I would have to switch too writing with a pen and paper if I wanted to get anything done, I dutifully went out and brought myself two new notebooks - because clearly the hundreds of empty ones I had aren't good enough to be WRITTEN WRITTEN in.

I also treated myself to three magic pens — magic not because they make me smile, but these are magic Chinese pens with a rubber at one end that somehow, incredibly RUBS OUT INK! Who knew making mistakes could be fun?

But then came the actual writing. 

And it was hard.

(And no, not because I spent the first hour playing with my magic pens!)

However, for me notebooks have always been for planning, brainstorming, and maybe the occasional midnight-induced / late-night-thinking ideas. They also look pretty on my desk :)  But ACTUALLY writing stories in them? Ha - I don't do that. 

I like to type my stories. Generally because I can type faster than I can wield a pen, and I need to get the words out of my head before they go poof! (I’m sure you fellow writers know the feeling of poofing words - It's like eating your favourite chocolate first and realising only yucky ones are left).

 (Magic Pens!)

Ultimately I found committing something to ink (even erasable ink) was difficult. But I realised it was a good thing. It made me more critical of my word choices, and question both my plot and characters more.

Bottom line - I felt I made less mistakes. 

Which leads me onto: CHAPTERS VS SCENES

So when I’m on my lap top, I like to read through the previous days writing then move on from there. Yet in the spirit of mixing things up, I decided to write only in scenes, choosing from my planned plot any scene that took my fancy. 

(Aren’t I rebellious?)

My findings - I actually WRITE MORE, and get stuck much less. Instead of a few hundred works, I had pages that added up to almost a thousand. What is this magic?

Could it possibly be that by cherry-picking my scenes I was already going in with a positive frame of mind? Or was it lifting the pressure to progress the story - because shockingly, knowing what happens next makes it easier to write the bits in-between, or so I’ve found. 

However I’ll be curious if I will still feel this way in a few months when I will have less scenes to pick from… I guess only time will tell.

And speaking of time.


(My writing space - and yes that is a Kodama in the right hand corner, drawn by my lovely other half!)

I am a glorified night owl. Mornings? Well until a week ago, I barely remembered what they looked like. However as much as this pen and paper thing seems to be working for me, I still need my computer time. 

I have book reviews to write, emails to answer, and of course writing that needs typing up. But the coldest time of day right now is 5am.

And so that’s what time I’ve been waking up — although this also comes with the perk of midday nap times and an ice-cream :)

But overall… I’m loving it! Ok, ok, I know you are all backing away from me, holding pointy things in case I try to follow, but hear me out. 

I’m waking up with a purpose to get things done.
And those things, writing, reviewing, even a sneaky hour of reading…


And somehow, waking up has become enjoyable too.

I used to generally wake up between 10am and 11am (Ok, ok, admittedly 2pm somedays) but my point is, I now have so many more hours in my day. And I’m putting them to use.

All in all - Mixing up the way I write, from the tools I use to the time I get up, even the place I write, has really changed my level of productivity. 

Mixing things up has been a good thing.

And it all happened because Chinese air-con sucks!

So tell me, what are your writing habits like?



  1. Lol!! This was interesting and night owls all the way ;) I love writing reviews and e-mails (Etc) during the night, when everyone is asleep.

  2. I wish I could write I night... however the other half has labelled night time a no work zone -socialising/TV and non-work related things only. lol Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I'm a super early morning person and get up at 2:00am each morning to see the hubby off to work. I do love a sleep in though on weekends when I'm not in bed by 8:00pm. I love the written word and computers have made that almost obsolete now, so it's lovely to see you going back to writing old school (even if it's more for health reasons and not having air con). I don't write as such, but love notebooks and journals too <3

    1. 2am! Wow that's very early - quite often thats my bedtime lol. Thanks for stopping by!