TheKesser said

Any writers out there?

Hey, So this is sort of a tea-related question, but sort of not. I was drinking some Chocolate Rocket this morning while having a quiet moment here at work and I got thinking. The weather outside is just dreadful, which I don’t get to see the full affects of ‘cause of where I work, but it makes me want to write. I write poems and short stories (specifically flash fiction right now, although I’m trying to branch out some).

So, I’m wondering, are there any other writers out there? And if so, what teas/environments/settings/weather… etc inspires you the most when you’re writing?

40 Replies
TheKesser said

For me, I always find that a strong black tea of any flavour seems to do the trick. I love having a tea that is bold in flavour, and since what I’ve been writing lately seems to be a bit more… darker, I guess? that it really seems to inspire the mood and atmosphere the best.
Too, I find the dark rainy days seem to be the days when I really want to write.

Now, I do have the odd story where nothing inspires me more than a bright sunny day and a tropical fruity tea is the one I have to have, but that doesn’t happen as much as the other.

Feltbeat said

I find the same to be true for me, sans the sunny-day inspiration.

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I’m a writer :) of various things…really.
On a daily basis – I write commercials…but…I write TONS of other things…reviews, I blog, product descriptions, poetry, short stories, journaling, I used to right plays, etc…but not so much anymore.

I always start my day with at least 2 to 3 different black teas and it morphs from there. I really like to get each kind of tea base in every day. I rarely drink other beverages outside of the Tea and Water realm.

I’m a SUMMER person. I hate WINTER. I don’t like being cold. Ironically I live in the snow belt…blah.

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I write a lot. I try to average about 1000-1500 words a day. The first 750 or so I use a random word generator and go off of that, and afterwards I just write until I hit the target. There’s a website called 750words.com that I find to be incredibly helpful in making me write every day, and it’s also really nice the way it tracks my words.

Those usually turn into poetry or essays of some sort. I love essays. They’re a dying art among the young – there is a beauty to the essay that is far separate from the ones everyone’s forced to write in high school. I suppose my favorite genre is creative nonfiction. All of it is real and none of it is true.

I drink all kinds of teas, it just sort of depends… I’ll go on a kick for awhile where all I drink is greens, and then next I’ll only drink blacks or something. I love writing at night, though, especially when it’s raining. And in fall. I dislike the depths of winter only slightly less than the heat of summer.

I LOVE essays as well. Writing them, reading them, it doesn’t matter. I love the challenge of writing an essay on a given topic that I don’t know much about; it really is a treat to devour the research, process it, and use it to your advantage. And there’s nothing like the satisfaction of finishing a really great essay.

Also — props to you for striving toward daily writing goals! I can imagine that taking quite a bit of motivation and commitment.

Uniquity said

I adore reading essays – not so much writing them. : ) If there are any essay collections you’d recommend, I’d love to try them.

gmathis said

Essay ideas: They’re a little antiquated, but if you can ever get your hands on essays by E.B. White (the Charlotte’s Web guy), they’re wonderful, cozy reads. C.S. Lewis’ nonfiction writings are good, but they take some concentration. I can’t read him when I’m sleepy. Madeline L’Engle, too (she wrote A Wrinkle In Time) … she wrote several books that are actually connected essays; “The Summer of the Great-Grandmother” is the one I remember best.

For what it’s worth, Phillip Yancey’s columns/essays are also favorites of mine—he’s a Christian writer who thinks instead of pounding and expounding.

Uniquity said

Thank you Gmathis – I will have to hit up the library!!

gmathis said

I would love a good long afternoon library book browse! Our little burg doesn’t have one, and budget is so tight I can’t see my way clear to buy an out-of-town subscription (or gas) to the nearest one. Sigh.

Angrboda said

Thanks for the 750 tip, Michelle! I tried that out yesterday, and I think it’s going to be really helpful to me. And I can get achievements! I’m hugely motivated by that. :D

Erika M. said

I just signed up for 750words.com. I really like it. Thanks for the tip!

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Uniquity said

I write, but only my journal. When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a writer but have since realized that I am, whole heartedly, a reader – writing is not as enjoyable for me as devouring what others have written. My journalling is something I enjoy doing for myself though. Chronicalling my various complaints, mostly, but I like to try various writing exercises on occasion and see what happens.

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I struggle with writing. I’ve always had a love for it – I have countless bound books that I made in elementary school: poems, short stories, my first attempt at a ‘chapter-book’, more poems, little snippets of my random thoughts. I always thought I’d be a writer. But as I got older, my self-doubt kind of took over, and now I find it hard to write anything that isn’t required of me. Whenever I do write, I am overly critical and generally end up tossing my work. I’d really like to try to commit myself to writing something everyday, and promise myself I won’t trash it. I even find journal entries hard to hold on to. I think I might try Michelle’s method of using 750words.com. I never knew such a thing existed!

ETA: Whoops, I got so excited that I completely forgot about the tea aspect. I also love black teas while I’m writing! Something about the bold, robust flavours, the caffeine kick, and the comfort-factor of adding milk and sugar. Sitting down with a cup of tea and taking time for myself really puts me in the right mind-frame for writing.

I recommend 750 Words wholeheartedly. And there’s also website/app/downloadable program called Write or Die (writeordie.com) – if you’re really self-critical, you might try this. It forces you to just write and keep writing… If you stop too long, you can set it to remind you, or even to start erasing your words so you /can’t/ stop and just have to write. I find that one’s really helpful if I’m in a block!

TheKesser said

softrevolution, your story sounds exactly like me. I am waaaay too critical of my writings. I always feel they aren’t as good as I think they should be or need to be. As I’ve gotten older, my confidence has gotten smaller and smaller. I think the last few years have been the worst. I’ve been going through some personal stuff and it has really rattled me, and my writing.
But my love for writing won’t let me stop, no matter how much I think I might be done trying. I have this drive that makes me. And even when I’m determined to let it go, story ideas pop up everywhere that I just have to put on the page.
Don’t give up. If you enjoy writing and you want to write, definitely do it. Even if it ends up being just for yourself, you’ll get a chance to feel the joy and fulfillment of seeing a full page. That’s what keeps me going.
I finally got up the courage to send a flash fiction story away last month. I should know at the end of September what’s up with that. I’m so scared of being rejected, but I’m more scared of not trying now.

gmathis said

Of the sentimental items under my roof, some of the most precious to me are the “family stories” that my mom wrote out longhand while recovering from surgery a few years back, then I transcribed. I continued the tradition by recording, as often as I could, humorous bits and bites inspired by my son when he was little. Some of that “writing for yourself” may become very special to your family in the future, so keep going :)

So great to hear everyone else’s experiences with this. TheKesser, congrats on sending your story out! That’s such a big milestone and an achievement in itself. Sending good vibes your way, and hoping for the best! It’s really great that you’ve been able to push past your self doubt and continue writing; I hope I can get there soon.

And gmathis, that’s such a lovely idea. What a great keepsake for you, and for future generations as well. I have an app for my phone called Momento that I use to jot down interesting stories and special little things that happen throughout my day. It’s really handy for recording exactly how you feel, right in the moment. I hope to one day write out longer anecdotes from my notes to keep those memories alive.

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LisaJoanna said

I’m a writer…mostly poetry, and I tend to go more towards the horror or deep side. But I love the rain, it always brings out my best works. Tea, like i’ve said before is somewhat new to me (ok loose leaf tea is) but I mostly tend to write with a cup lately. I havn’t been able to try to many diffrent teas but i’m liking having a dessert tea when I write, calms me and makes me feel warm and fulfilled for some reason.
I definitly believe tea has helped my writing process lately, tea has made me more inspired to write. I also have a blog so Writing in there is easier lately with other health issues in my life but having a glass of tea makes my mind slow down and allows me to write.

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gmathis said

I write children’s curriculum and magazine articles. The curriculum is a weirdly specialized thing; you’re actually writing a how-to for adults, but your ultimate goal is capturing the interest and imagination of kids. Writing directly for kids is, to me, much easier—you just put on your 10-year-old thinking cap and go with it.

I’m rarely without a cuppa while I’m working. It’s generally something strong and stout; an Assam or a heavy breakfast blend.

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Angrboda said

NaNoWriMo veteran here. Did that the first time in 2005 and have done it every year since. Most years I’ve managed it to the 50K but not all. It’s also extremely rare that I actually end up producing something that can be shown around, but I still enjoy the process. I don’t have any publishing ambitions, I prefer to keep it as strictly a hobby.

As for the tea? Anything, really. Whatever I fancy on that particular day. I don’t tend to divide my teas up into teas for different tasks.

TheKesser said

I think I’m gonna try that NaNoWriMo this year. I didn’t know about it until last year, and by the time I found out, I didn’t know where to start with even an idea. It sounds like a great idea!

I also think I’ll try my hand at the NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve been playing around with an idea for a book and this would be a good opportunity just to get my thoughts down.

Angrboda said

If you do, guys, feel free to add me as writing buddy. I’m Angrboda there also. Just let me know who you are if you use a different username from here. :)

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Tea is indispensable to my writing. Before Verdant Tea, I was a translator of Chinese fiction. I wrote poetry and short stories while translating novels. I like to sit down before writing and do a gongfu tea session. The smells, sounds, and tastes of the ceremony often act as anchoring points for words. The wafting of steam might remind me of the letter ‘s’ in Renaissance script, which gets me thinking of a sentence, a feeling. I like to outline and compose in my head and then just go for it.

My calligraphy teacher explained that to do good calligraphy you have to get up very early, and grind the ink and you take in the smells of the morning and the light. You meditate on the blank page, dip your brush and go without pause. Ink on paper give you only one chance to get it right. Luckily writing today allows for correction, but I use the same basic techniques.

What tea to drink? Depends on the writing. Poetry calls for excessive consumption of sheng pu’er. The energy of the Farmer’s Cooperative Banzhang has me floating. Translation calls for a more grounded tea. Black or roasted oolong are my choice. Difficult writing (technical writing) calls for green tea or Tieguanyin as a cleansing antidote.

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TheKesser said

Thanks everyone for the responses! I’m thrilled to know there are tea lovers/writers out there in this community.
The small town that I live in, there isn’t too much of a writing community. I have two friends that I can send things to for feedback and it means the world to me that they are willing to help me out.

And too, I love hearing the variety of teas that people drink to get inspired. I don’t know how I use to write without it!

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