The Way you do the things you do – Igniting the Writing Brain.

So I have recovered from last weeks little red-cheeked dummy spit. I am once again the epitome of calm. A picture of serenity.


Aaaah, such a good movie. And my reason for doing yoga. One day I shall strike that pose.

But I jest with you. I am not sword-wielding-hot-chick serene (or am I?)

I am this type of serene.

Clearing the brain

Needing a shave and not giving a shit.

Cause I’m all zen. And a dog. (Or am I?)


Regardless, I am back at the keyboard, ready to create. Sliding my butt cheeks into the perma-grooves on my chair. It’s another writing day. The first of a gazillion cups of tea/coffee/herbal tea/hot chocolate/boiled water/wine/gin steaming away beside my keyboard. YouTube has begun its music soundtrack workout. Queue the great music compilations and incredibly annoying, repetitive ads. Did you know that if you buy an LG  CORDZERO  you can climb glass buildings in Korea?? It’s TRUE! LOOK!


Look at her, getting all those pesky, hard-to-reach dirt particles and grime out of that glass. Housework never looked so god damn amazing. I’ve got my vacuum on order and my flights to Korea are booked. I love Kimchi.

I digress. Jesus, why do I keep doing that?


He doesn’t know. Got him stumped.

What I do know is that I have some habits when it comes to writing. Little things I do that are probably just a manifestation of an OCD issue, but I’ve convinced myself they help me get those damn words on the damn page. I’ve mentioned the music and my need for DRAMATIC,EPIC, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, music to play while I write. In fact, I got my blog on about it once before. Oh hark, what light through yonder blog breaks?

But there is another player in my writing habit repertoire.

Gum,  by gum. I chew my way through a crap load of the stuff while I write. It distracts me. It makes me think I’m eating, which means I don’t get hungry and my brain doesn’t decide that the fate of my little world depends on getting a bowl of chips beside my keyboard. Right. Damn. Now.

It gives me an excuse for mini-breaks. I stop, survey my little troop of colourful gummy soldier-tins, select a flavour, tap out a few pieces and take that first delightful bite when the flavour hits every tastebud and I get to Emma Stone the moment.

giphy (2) (1)

Sated, it is then onwards… or downwards? To the keyboard-wards!

I often get to the end of a chapter,  hit the last key and wonder why my teeth ache and I can’t breathe properly. It’s because the gumball in my mouth has gotten so large it has cut off my airway. I don’t have a bin near my desk so I just keep shoving the little pellets in there like my life depends on it.  It’s lost all flavour and I can barely open my jaw wide enough to chew it, but by jingo, by crikey, I will keep chewing.


Apparently JK Rowling was quite the chew-fiend.

For some reason that little piece of completely useless trivia has always stuck with me. Granted, her habit was more to do with giving up smoking, but she’d been using smoking as a way to ‘take a break’ from writing.


And so, instead of getting on with my own work, I found myself  thinking, what else do writerly weirdos do to keep the juices flowing or run the hell away from the words for a bit? We’re an odd lot right? Got to be some completely bonkers things going on out there.

So I turned to my friend Mr Google and he regurgitated a veritable feast of stories.

Turns out Dan Brown thinks hanging upside down is a sure fire way to break a writers block. Okay, then. I’ll take his word for it.

Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up, Truman Capote wrote lying down. It worked for them. I’ll add both to my list of ‘things that might make me an awesomer writerer‘.

Honore de Balzac got high on coffee. Victor Hugo got naked. (I’m not sure my chair or my neighbours would appreciate that but it’s for the sake of art, right?)

Colette apparently plucked fleas from her bulldogs until she was ready to write. Alas, I’m all outta dogs right now.

Agatha Christie mused over plots while crunching on apples in the bath. Friedrich Schiller took the apple love one step further and put a bunch of them in a drawer and left them there. The stench of rotten apples got his writerly juices flowing.  NOW we’re talking.

And now, I suddenly feel so dull. With an all consuming need for apple pie.

Fare thee well, dear reader. Me and my gum must away. I have a dog to buy and clothes to remove.


Psst – here’s one of the sources so you don’t think I’m just making shit up.

The Odd Habits and Curious Customs of Famous Writers



  1. M. Unchie on July 24, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Wow that’s some weird writing habits…you gotta work on yours!

    • DanKG on July 25, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      I know right?? Gum chewing just doesn’t really cut it.

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