Friday, March 26, 2010

What's On My Desk? - Sarah Morgan

In theory I should be able to write anywhere as long as I have a pen and a pad. Certainly there are occasions when I scribble on notebooks or scraps of paper – while I’m waiting to pick the children up from school; in the dark in the cinema when an idea suddenly comes to me (boy was that difficult to decipher!) but generally I write better when I’m at my desk.

So what do I need for my perfect working day?

My laptop - which is not connected to the internet. I would like to say that if I worked in a chocolate factory I would never sample the products, but I know I would. If I work on a computer connected to the internet, I use the internet. I can’t resist the temptation to check my emails – just in case Hugh Jackman is trying to contact me urgently or JK Rowling’s publisher has decided I’m the Next Big Thing (I will be the Next Big Thing if I don’t take the chocolate biscuits off my desk :) )

My iPod – I don’t always write to music, but sometimes I do. I use music to create atmosphere. At the moment I’m trying to finish a Christmas story and the only way I can feel Christmassy in March is to play Christmas music. If I fill the room with Christmas music, my family will probably leave home in protest so my iPod is the ideal solution.

Dictionary and thesaurus – of course these days there are brilliant computer programmes available (something else to offer distraction) but I still love the ancient, well-thumbed thesaurus I was given at the start of my writing career.

My favourite mug – usually I drink from a giant, brightly coloured mug. It makes me feel happy. But at the moment I’m writing a Christmas book, so I’ve swapped it for a mug covered in penguins and lots of snow.

Sticky note pads and a pen – yes, although I’m using the laptop, I still scribble all the time when I’m writing. I know that lots of writers use sticky notes. I find them invaluable. If I think of one line of dialogue that I’ll want to use later on, or even a plot twist, I’ll scribble it on the note and stick it on the wall. Then I know I’m not going to forget about it. When I first started writing I used pads, but there were so many occasions where I overlooked something I’d written down, I switched tactics. Sticky notes are there until you remove them (which I try and remember to do before guests arrive. My gorgeous, tolerant husband once asked me mildly if I thought it might be wise to take down the one that said ‘this marriage is a sham’ before we had family over :) )

My mobile phone – when I’m writing I often unplug my main phone during the day so that I’m not disturbed (I find it really hard to ignore the phone if it rings), but I want to be able to take calls from close family, so I keep my mobile switched on so I’m connected, but not too connected.....

That’s it. That’s what I need. What do you need to help you work?


Christina Hollis said...

If I've hit a tricky patch, I find the bribe/consolation of a big helping of something chocolately definitely helps!

Sarah Morgan said...

Oh yes definitely Christina. I find that equally helpful even when I'm not in a tricky patch :)

denise said...

I definitely need a computer with internet.
The cover of your book is beautiful.

Sarah Morgan said...

Thanks Denise, I like the cover too and it does reflect a scene from the book.

Mary said...

I always have pen and paper as well as coffee and a can of peanuts that way I can snack while writing my articles and not have to get up to fix something else to eat and lose what I was thinking about.

Sarah Morgan said...

Mary, that's a clever idea! I have a feeling I might just eat it immediately, but it's worth a try.

Anna Campbell said...

Sarah, I can't write anywhere either. Well, I probably could if I had to but the effort of getting out of my routine would take more energy than it's worth. I can edit in different places - in fact a change of scenery tends to give me a different eye, if that makes sense. But the creation stuff? Nuh. Need to be in my home environment. Loved this insight into your working day.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Depends where I'm working, if at my part time job a smile and comfortable shoes.

If from home my computer, good lighting, music.

Loved Silvo, he was the perfect alpha! xx

Sarah Morgan said...

Hi Anna, yes I know what you mean about editing in different places, although I often want to look around (like a meerkat) in different places. I'm better sitting where I've seen it all before.

Marilyn, wearing something comfortable is really important.
So glad you enjoyed Silvio

Michele L. said...

Hi Sarah,

I find myself using sticky notes everywhere! My husband hates all my notes. You are so lucky to have a hubby who doesn't mind that.

Also, when I am being creative, as my hubby calls it, defintiely pop like root beer, a crunchy snack, like chex mix, some background music such as jazz playing, and good lighting are my favorite ploys to help me write.

I guess we all need something to spark the creativity in us. Also, I get up and stretch my legs from time to time. It helps clear my head.

Sue A. said...

I'm not a writer, but I like peace and quiet to work so it helps to be a night owl.

Sarah Morgan said...

Michelle, yes yes definitely a good light - forgot to mention that :)

Sue - I do need peace and quiet sometimes, but on other occasions music helps set the scene for me.