Sunday, 27 May 2012


A friend of mine - David Cord - has written on his blog about writing, or more importantly, how to write and keep writing. Great advice from a famous author. I'll highlight a few paragraphs of his wisdom on the matter:

I write during the day, during working hours, and the best stuff always comes in the morning. I write almost every day, even weekends and holidays. Before I start, 

I have to prepare myself. I check my email, check the stock market, read the news, and get everything out of the way that I know could draw my attention before I start.

Next, I remove all possible distractions. The internet gets turned off, and the phone gets put on silent and placed in another room. It takes a long time for me to get properly focused, but one little distraction immediately throws me off track. One text message could destroy fifteen or thirty minutes of writing time. Sometimes, if I feel weak, I will even close the curtains so I’m not tempted to look outside.

I was thinking about this very thing recently and deciding that the work office is a bad place to write, open offices even more so (actually does any work get done in an open office environment?)...the best place? Somewhere with some noise with comfort and coffee/tea or chai latte (yep, Starbucks), seems like I'm just like Ernest Hemingway in this respect, if not the writing - just need to find that perfect cafe.

David doesn't talk about tools - meaning software tools - for writing (and beating writer's block). The problem with things such as Microsoft Word is that they distract you with things such as formatting the text. I find simple tools without complications such as spelling and grammar checkers such as vi (and for some emacs). Using a simple text editor you can just focus on the text itself, though with the problem that you do need to leave the editing environment to deal with graphics; though here I tend just to leave a note in the text and draw the diagram or mathematics using pen (ink pen) in my engineering notebook.

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