Prop Me Up

I came across a very interesting essay by author/writing coach Steve Adams on Glimmer Train’s website. His advice is thoughtful, and I particularly like his notion of “transitioning into a creative state” when you write. That is what happens, isn’t it? Writing means putting aside the every day concerns of life and honing in on the creation of something that is imbued with great meaning and purpose—for the writer at least. It’s a transformative process.

Steve offers some great tips to help writers make that necessary transformation. The coffee shop seat that just “feels” rights, the mandatory cup of tea, the right background music or complete silence? Every writer has a different prop. What are yours?

Here are a few things that help me let go this world and enter into a fictional one. I’m grateful for each one.

  • A corner table in a coffee shop where no one knows me. Being around strangers—without having to engage with them—creates a private public space that I find stimulating.
  • A view of the natural world. Even if I’m just looking out on my own backyard, feeling my connection to a larger, more permanent and self-sustaining system comforts and reassures me.
  • A pet in the room. Dogs are fine when they’re sleeping and their occasional doggie sighs punctuate my work. But cats are best. Their composed, quiet observance gives me confidence. Their dignity is admirable. Cats are nearby but not overwhelming, companionable but not crowding.




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