Friday Five: Five Oddball Writing Tips

Oddball Writing TipsWhy haven’t I been doing more Friday Five posts? I love Friday. And I love 5’s despite my aversion to odd numbers and the fact that Novalee Nation had a deep fear of fives from one of my favorite movies, Where the Heart Is.

(Well, actually, Novalee feared #7 in the book, but this is one of the rare times I liked the movie better than the book, no disrespect to Billie Letts.)

But anyway, I’ve decided to do more Friday Fives, starting with this one about…

Five Oddball Writing Tips

… a collection of writing tips, tools, and tricks that can help you get your fingers moving, words flowing, and mind focused!

1.) Listen to Gaming Soundtracks

I’ve been a longtime fan of listening to epic movie soundtracks such as Requiem for a Dream, (so gorgeously haunting,) Gladiator, and my favorite … The Truman Show, while writing. But I’ve recently discovered how gaming soundtracks are a great tool because they are created to help players focus and concentrate.

Help with focus and concentration? Yes, please!

To find them, try doing a google search for “gaming soundtracks for studying,” and make a playlist on YouTube or Spotify. Here’s an article with some suggestions. One more to add is Animal Crossing that my son’s friend recommended. (Thanks for the tip, Tim!)

So for kicks, trying listening to gaming soundtracks the next time you pound out some words. You go, mighty writer.

2.) Thumb holes are EVERYTHING!

Those who know me probably know I’m a runner. If you don’t know me, the fact that I wear race gear 80% of the time gives that away. (I really need to update my wardrobe.) But long-sleeve running shirts with thumb holes aren’t just good for marathons. They’re also great for writing marathons because they keep your hands warm and wrists from sticking to your keyboard!

Oddball Writing Tips

So for kicks, trying listening to gaming soundtracks the next time you pound out some words with warm hands and chafe-free wrists. You go, mighty writer.

3.) Try the Buddy Ear bud Rule

Do you love writing with buddies at a coffee shop but can never tell whether or not your friend wants to talk? Or are you tired of having your writing sprints interrupted by chatter? Well, then, you’re in luck because I have the solution for you!

This, my friends, is the ear bud rule.

No ear buds in means, “I’m just messing around on my computer checking Facebook updates, therefore, I am available for any and all conversation or questions, and oh my gosh, you HAVE to see this cat video!”

Oddball Writing Tips

One ear bud in means, “I am working, but not on anything serious so feel free to start a conversation or ask a question or show me a particularly funny cat videos because one can NEVER get tired of funny cat videos.

Oddball Writing Tips

Both earbuds in means, “Leave me alone, I am in deep writing mode, so don’t look at me, talk to me, smell me, or entice me with any more cat videos unless you’d like to be kicked.”

Oddball Writing Tips

Or it could simply mean, “Do not Disturb,” your choice.


If you’re writing solo, double ear buds also block out annoying coffeehouse chatter from your neighbors. Unless, of course, you happen to like coffeehouse chatter. But what if you like chatter but you’re writing from home? Why don’t you…

4.) Try Coffitivity for a coffee house feel

lettermarkI just love this! You can download the app or use the website, choosing from Morning Murmur, Lunchtime Lounge, and University Undertones, my personal favorite … although there’s this one weird part in the loop that sounds like someone is hacking. The volume is adjustable and you can also add in music from your library, Spotify, Pandora, and more.

So for kicks, trying listening to gaming soundtracks and coffeehouse chatter the next time you pound out some words with warm hands, chafe-free wrists, and both ear buds in. You go, mighty writer.

But what if you get stuck on a particularly troubling scene?

5.) Change your position

According to this awesome article on Lifehacks titled, “9 Weird Habits That Famous Writers Formed to Write Better,” Mark Twain wrote while lying down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Dan Brown hung upside down. (Um … picture, please?) Francine Prose wrote facing a wall.

Victor Hugo wrote naked. (Um … no picture, please.)

As for me, I have several spots throughout my house to move to whenever I need comfort and snuggleness, (that’s a word, right?) to get me through a scene. Here’s my current favorite snuggle zone. Writing here makes me feel like Brooks Robinson is watching, giving me encouragement.

Odball Writing Tips

I do love my Brooks.

And with that, you know what’s coming, right?

So for kicks, trying listening to gaming soundtracks and coffeehouse chatter the next time you pound out some words with warm hands, chafe-free wrists, and both ear buds in, while lying down, standing up, facing a wall … with or without clothes on.

You go, mighty writer.

Now it’s your turn!

QOTD: What kind of oddball writing habits do you have that we can include in a future post? Bonus points for those who share pictures.

Fully clothed, though, please.

Happy writing and drawing!


Cross posted on Write, Run, Rejoice.


About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She clearly likes run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
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7 Responses to Friday Five: Five Oddball Writing Tips

  1. mikecrowl says:

    Awesome post, Laura. I’ve found that “epic” leads me to good background music in general. Epic movie soundtracks, epic Celtic music, and so on. Even epic nature sounds. I’ll say that I tried the coffee house sounds while reading your post, and it’s amazing how it does actually help with focus.

    But for something completely different… I took a creativity and innovation class a few years back, and the instructor had us move our watch to our other arm. There were other exercises like, cross your arms. Now cross them the other way. The point is, like changing your position (or writing naked while facing a wall and hanging upside down) helps with creativity, as you said. Changing your watch or the position of your arms is kinda like changing your position. It’s pretty cool.

    Now, all I have to do is figure out a way to motivate me to actually write something.

    • Laura Bowers says:

      Hmm, I tried crossing my arms but it’s impossible to type that way!! Hehe. 😉 Thanks for your comment, Mike, NOW WRITE SOMETHING OR I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN!!!!!

      (Did that help motivate you?)

      • mikecrowl says:

        I’ll see what I can do. I guess with that kind of motivation, I don’t really get a choice. Besides, I’m pretty sure you can outrun me.

  2. Mighty Post, Laura! I will have to check out your suggestions. This is oddball, but my go-to choices for getting the creative juices flowing are soundtracks and classical music. Movies about writers or movies based on novels top the list. All-time favorites: “Out of Africa,” “Pride and Prejudice,” and “Black Beauty.” Magical.

  3. Shoot–I noticed a typo as soon as I hit Post Comment. My tip ISN’T oddball.

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