What’s your writing security blanket?


Things have been in flux lately and it’s been a challenge to clear the cobwebs out of my head to write. In Catch-22 fashion, a bunch of those cobwebs have to do with nerves over some publication milestones I’m waiting on. Whenever I’m in distress I fall into old habits and search for creature comforts like Linus with his blue blanket.

Some of those old habits are debilitating – self-doubt, not writing, lollygagging online and avoiding the WIP. But I got to thinking, some of those security blankets are good ones. What keeps you from going for those when times are tough?

When I fast drafted Butterfly Swords, I had a running path right in front of my house. I’d roll out of bed and grumpily pull on running shoes and tie my hair into a pony tail and run 2 or 3 miles. By the end, the endorphins would kick in and I would be daydreaming about my story and be ready to write.

My other security blanket has always been a notebook. I used to only write long hand when I was a teenager and then go into Mum’s office to type things up over the summer. That was a wonderful time, laying on the carpet in the path of a sunbeam and writing. Going to work with Mum on odd days to type.

So it was no surprise to find myself this morning eating a bagel with cream cheese (comfort food) while scribbling in my notebook right before hitting the gym. I even hit up “Fat Chicks Running“, a blog co-hosted by one of my first CPs, for some inspiration this weekend.

So that’s my current combined running and writing program. (Plus comfort food. You can’t shake all those bad habits at once.) I think…*looks left and right for writing gremlins*…I think it’s working. 1 mile today and 3 pages of scribbling that still need to be formed into coherent sentences. My hopes are high.


  1. Dara
    Nov 24, 2009 @ 08:31:12

    Not sure what my security blanket is…at least not sure of the “good” ones.

    I don’t like working out or running, so that’s certainly not it! I’m leaning towards those long, hot showers–that tends to be where my creative juices are rejuvenated.

  2. Jax Cassidy
    Nov 24, 2009 @ 10:23:44

    You’ve come a long way. I remember when you used to piece your story in a zillion different Word files. LOL

    I’ve been dragging for months and finally I was able to get back to writing. Sometimes your head just needs a break and it translates to lack of motivation, insecurity, lack of momentum. You’re doing awesome and I know great things are on the horizon for you!

  3. Jeannie Lin
    Nov 24, 2009 @ 10:29:14

    Don’t remind me Jax! A writer in our critique group was talking about the same thing and I was trying to tell her it would be impossible to go back and find what pages the corrections were on!

    Dara – I used to get my best lesson plans in the shower. Of course, I also tend to think when driving — which is probably not a good idea.

  4. Victoria Dixon
    Nov 25, 2009 @ 10:11:10

    You had to ask what my GOOD habits are. It’s been awhile. I used to take long walks. Or at least A walk. I’d take notes of my surroundings and force myself to see them. (I shut down in winter. If I don’t make myself recognize colors and visual cues, everything turns grey.) I haven’t done this in years, not on a consistent basis. But the last two Saturdays I’ve been allowed “me” time, so maybe I can return to those blissful days. It’s better than eating chocolate and cookies, which is where I am now. Guess who gained 10 pounds this year? 🙁

  5. Jamal W. Hankins
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 06:26:09

    My good habits, actually, are watching movies and playing video games. I get/got a lot of ideas for characters from video games. There are some really good ones out there now, like Dead Space, to name one. It’s a really good scifi/horror game. Film also gets my creative juices flowing, mainly independent film and foreign horror.

  6. Jeannie Lin
    Dec 01, 2009 @ 21:27:39

    Victoria – I feel the same here. Sometimes I just have to get outside and reset myself. It’s hard to drag myself out there when it’s so chilly out there. And cookies are rarely refused.

    Jamal – It’s great that you can make a good habit out of video games. 🙂 The storylines for some of the fantasy and sci-fi games are just phenomenal. I actually love how the Asian themes are a huge hit in the video game world. I wonder if that could, in some way, boost the popularity of Asian genre fiction.