Inspiration at the bottom of a coffee cup #amwriting

I suppose most people start their days with coffee or tea. I prefer the former and I make myself a large cup of coffee every morning. I turn on my laptop while the coffee brews and get my breakfast ready, although that is optional while the coffee is not.

lonely tree b&w
A lonely tree at the bottom of a coffee cup.

It takes about one or two sips before I wake up properly. I have the bad habit of reading the news while I eat. I browse a few online news websites and check my emails. I find it easier to respond to emails with a fresh dose of caffeine coursing through my veins. Once I get to all the emails and send some of my own, I slowly – and I mean slowly – get to work.

What I do in the mornings largely depends on what I am currently working on. If I have any revisions in progress, then that is what I start with because I find it easier to get into revising than writing. I re-read any comments or suggestions from the editor or any notes I left when I last read the text and start from there. Editor notes are invaluable as they see your text from a different point of view, and even if one doesn’t agree with what they have to say, their suggestions might still spark a new idea or offer inspiration.

Around ten o’clock, the first dose of caffeine has long been used up and I brew a fresh cup. I’m a sweet-tooth, so I raid the cupboards for a dessert to go with it. A smallish one, of course, as I prepare a quick lunch around noon. Sometimes it’s just a sandwich, sometimes a salad. It is unavoidably followed by another cup of coffee.

If I was editing in the morning, I try to switch to writing in the afternoon because I find it more stimulating to mix things up a bit. It gets tedious to revise a text all day long, except if I’m on a tight deadline and I don’t have a choice. At the moment, I’m working on a vaguely dystopian YA I’m not sure yet where it is going to go. I’ll let it surprise me and allow the characters to lead me wherever they want to.

stack of papers
My latest manuscript.

I try to write 1500 to 2000 words by four o’clock, but it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it’s just 200 words, but if it’s a difficult passage or the part turns out to be really good, I’m just as satisfied with it as I would be with 2000 words that need heavy revisions.

At five past four I rush to wash up the coffee cups that fill up the sink before Husband comes home and gives me a lecture on the negative effects of too much coffee. After we eat dinner, I innocently suggest we could have a nice cup of coffee. He eyes me suspiciously, but he’s long learned not to ask how many I’ve already had. 😉


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