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C.C. Hogan

What do you use for writing inspiration?

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The write snack at the write moment might be the write thing for writing.

I like the idea of "getting in the zone" when it comes to writing. However, I hate the phrase.

To me, writing has become more and more a set of actions. I like to get comfortable, in a certain way, I like my specs to be polished up, I like my computer to be working properly (hint!), and, most importantly, I like to have various things at hand that tickle my senses.

In the photo, I have collected together a few such props:

  • The glass of wine occasionally gets swapped with either a Guinness or a Whiskey, but it is mostly wine. I tend to go for good, predictable Italian wines in screw top bottles for convenience, though I will leap grape and continent happily.  I think part of the reason I like a bit of alcohol is nothing to do with any soporific effects but more because it is what "proper writers" do. I refuse to go as far as being drunk as I tend to write gibberish, but I like sipping a fruity sample while debating the next phrase.
  • The espresso is a bit of a no brainer. No, I mean that literally! If I drink too many I find I have no brain left. But it can be an antidote and it is certainly welcome first thing on a sunny morning. I drink good brands which means I stay away from Starbucks and Costa. Illy is probably my favourite.
  • The pen is an interesting item. I am very computer orientated; I write on computer, I use OneNote for my notes and I draw out maps on Photoshop and/or Illustrator. But still I do like to occasionally pick up a pen and scribble, even if it is just a reminder or something. There is something cathartic about it; good karma, and I like good karma.
  • I have a very soft spot for certain cheeses. I think the strength of the aroma and taste is especially stimulating and can give the senses that little kick if they have become lazy. A normandy, unpasteurised Camembert AOC is a frequent visitor, as is a gorgonzola (either Picante or Dolce, but never the commercialised Dolcelatte), and a strong cheddar. I rather like barrel aged Feta as well. 
  • If I have to explain the mouse to you then you really have been completely conned by the mobile internet thingy.

Other little culinary visitors include anchovies and large bowls of olives, fresh if possible. 

I am a very tactile person and am aware of my senses. I like them to be stimulated. Generally I find writing is very good for that, but if I am struggling to get the right mood, then a little bit of external gourmet stimulation will do the trick. it does not have to be in tune with the mood in the book, it just needs to kick life into me so I can kick life into the story.

Trust me, this is far more enjoyable than recreational drugs! As they say, some of the greatest works were written with the aid of drugs, but most of the greatest weren't!


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