BrooksBlog: Water & Writing

How does water affect you? As a writer, I find – for reasons I don’t entirely understand – that it has a very positive creative effect on me. I get many of my best ideas and come up with solutions to some of my most troublesome problems when I am in the shower. It must have something to do with the running water or maybe the sense of freedom I always experience. It works, too, when I do my thinking with the sounds of the ocean in the background or if there is white noise from a waterfall. But I don’t want to get carried away with this. It doesn’t work when a faucet is running or if I flush the toilet. My other favorites for stimulating creativity are long drives and symphonic music. Long drives allow me to go away entirely. I can work the mechanics of driving but still be thinking about something else – a chapter unresolved, a character still not fully developed, whatever. Music works that way, too – but only symphonic music. Don’t ask me about this, either. I listen to all kinds of music, but the other kinds don’t seem to do much. Maybe it’s because I like to sing along and this is really distracting when you are also trying to think. Symphonies just take me away the same way driving does. But I never listen to music when I write. I can’t concentrate if I do. Weird.

13 responses to “BrooksBlog: Water & Writing”

  1. Snagging a couple weeks in summer for vacation always means a couple trips up to the lake, with the main purpose being to relax and write. Sitting on the deck overlooking the lake, listening to the lapping waves against the shore (when not fighting off hordes of mosquitoes)–it’s impossible not to get the writing ball rolling. Some of my more productive sessions have been done up there. I too find that showers are a good way to clear the cobwebs.

  2. Being refreshed always makes a difference. Not so much into driving that much. When I was young I did alot of hiking, in over forty states. Back then I used to write, and when you are walking you see alot of things you miss while driving. I found alot of those things inspiring. The animals, the people you meet, the different types of trees and terrains, the weather, and even the nasty insects were all very inspiring. Drinking rocky mountain spring water is like eating a meal for the weary muscles and bones.

    I quit writing a long time ago. I didn’t have to, you did it for me. Thanks!!

  3. I think the relationship with water is on a deeper level (spiritual). Alot of our behaviors are attached to the tidal cycles… and being fortunate enough to live near Puget Sound and the Ocean I find that I am refreshed when ever I can get away from work and play on the water.
    When Flyfishing in the salt (Puget Sound) I find myself blending into my surroundings and harmonizing with the moving water. During these (spiritual moments) Ive had encounters with families of sea otters, harbor seals, whales, and blue herrons not mention all the fish Ive caught over the years.
    So yes the conection with water has always had a positve effect on me.

  4. Makes perfect sense to me. Although the mind wandering while driving is a tad disconcerting! I tend to do that too, getting to your destination and then wondering just how you got there. Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have said that!

  5. Water as an inspiration.

    We don’t get much here in CO Springs, but a good rain is conducive to any thoughtful endeavor. Water can definitely set moods. Somewhere out on the NW coast is the “Devils Bowl” or such. Right on the coast. I was driving one night and came upon it. I pulled into the parking and got out to stretch. Its some kind of wave or whirlpool thing in the rocks. I never saw it (If one could see it on a cloudy night), but the sound was terrifying. Really. This inland boy would rather listen to a howling wind anytime. I got right back in the car and left. If I ever need a scene where characters are scared at night, I’m using sound of the Devils Water.

  6. I think showering and driving ar akin to meditation in many ways, the mind wanders as the body performs a mundane task.
    Long drives are the best for me to get creative, showers and lying abed late at night are also good.

  7. Yes, the water thing. I’m decidedly a Pisces (water sign) even if that sort of thing is a bit self-fulfilling. Though even if I wasn’t, my body and everyone elses’ and everything that makes almost everything we know possible is mostly because of water. Maybe water is how the universe does magic. Though I guess the same thing could be said of carbon. Eh, water’s more interesting.

  8. To write, I usually need to take a shower and then listen to any sort of music (according to the mood I need to write). Then I sit down in dead silence and look out over the fields by my house. My thoughts are very defined and I have the excitement of the music still in my head. That causes me to write much better. Hm. I guess everyone’s unique in their methods!

  9. For me whenever I shower my mind always starts working out something on a story I am working on. Whether it’s a problem I need to resolve, a character I am developing or anything else, it just flows like the water coming out of the shower head. After the shower I make sure I write down all the things i came up with, even the stuff that may not work, as it might come into play in the future.

    Music is definitely another major source of inspiration as well. For me its mostly movie scores, but any other kind of music without lyrics really does help. Being a musician I have always loved music so for me as a writer, the music is also food for my muse. Depending on what I am writing, if I really need to capture certain emotions, I will listen to music that helps me make sure I am writing the scene and conveying the emotions it needs to have.

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