. One of the writers I follow on Twitter (and a nicer, more creative, more supportive and more than a little crazy bunch it would be difficult to find) mentioned recently that they were starting the day with coffee and chocolate – not a good breakfast, but it got them into the alpha state for writing.
This intrigued me, as, what with flu and laryngitis and the winter, I haven’t been in an alpha state for quite while. So, I thought, what gets me into an alpha state?
Another one of the writers I follow said he uses theme tunes. I do too, if I’m writing fanfic – for example, bit of Sam/Jack Stargate fanfic (oh, those were the days *sigh*), and I’d play the Stargate theme tune (and the Sam/Jack bit of theme music!). I still use music, specifically classical music, as lyrics (if in English) distract me. But that’s usually once I’m already ready to write (and I still haven’t quite the perfect bit of music for some genres yet).
And then there’s reading. Reading a good book can make me want to write. Equally, it can make want to pick up another book and read that instead. (Currently, it’s all the City Guard books by Terry Pratchett. Just about to start Night Watch, possibly his best book to date).
The flat must be clean. No hope of entering the alpha state if there’s a dirty teaspoon in sight. Or even if I know there’s a dirty tea spoon in the kitchen sink. And as I’m quite a messy person, perfect cleanliness and order is difficult to achieve.
It’s got to be pen and paper. First draft is never on the computer. A clean sheet of paper, and a nice pen or pencil can be very inspirational. But it doesn’t quite push me into the ‘need to write’ stage.
And, as a I thought of the alpha stage, my subconscious took over. I reached for paper (well, searched madly for a scrap of paper in the house that HADN’T been scribbled on) and my new pen, and wrote. For the first time in two months, I wrote and completed a story.
It’s not great. But it’s not bad either. I can fix it in rewrite, and I’ve already figured out what the fix will be. The point is, I wrote and completed a piece of work, and I can feel the need to write more coming. I got into the alpha state, and now it’s hovering at the back of my mind, popping up with useful ideas, and just making it’s presence felt until I’m ready to write.
I’m not sure what caused it. Was it just my biorhythms clicking into place? Or was it thinking about the alpha state got me into the alpha state? Either way, I’m glad it’s back.