Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Everybody seems to have a Top 5, Top 10, or Top 20 list these days, so I came up with a few lists of things this writer loves.  

I’ve learned that one of the best ways to spark creativity, break writer’s block, and most importantly, avoid carpal tunnel, back issues, and other writer’s woes, is to not confine myself to my desk. In fact, I rarely sit at my desk to write. Instead, these are some of my favorite writing spots:

1. The table on my back deck under an umbrella
2. Mead’s Corner, a favorite coffee shop
3. My cozy office chair beside my Keurig
4. The living room sofa in front of the fire
5. In the passenger seat on a road trip to visit grandkids

Music is another great way to tap into new levels of creativity, and to capture the mood of the scene I’m working on. Movie soundtracks provide the perfect music to write by because they’ve been designed to set a mood, yet they are mostly nonintrusive. Some of my favorites are:


1. Band of Brothers  
2. Braveheart
3. Charlotte Gray
4. Finding Neverland
5. The Tourist 

One of a writer’s biggest downfalls is the fact that it’s a very sedentary lifestyle. And the temptation to eat while we ponder the next scene is great. I try to use my writing snacks as a reward for reaching certain goals. For instance, for every 500 words I write, I might allow myself 5 M&Ms. Oh, the games we play to keep our seats in the seat till the book is complete. Here are my favorite snacks to write with:


1. Gobstoppers (mini jawbreakers)
2. Coffee Nips
3. Peanut M&Ms
4. Pistachios 
5. Potato Chips (I didn’t say the 5 healthiest!)

How about you (as a reader or writer)? What are some of your favorites to read and write by?

Deborah Raney accomplished something very few authors are able to do with their first book. Her debut novel, A Vow to Cherish (originally published in 1996), inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Since then, her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. 

Raney’s newest novel, Home to Chicory Lane, releases in August as the first book in the Chicory Inn Novels series for Abingdon Press Fiction.  

For more information about Raney and her books, visit her online home at deborahraney.com, become a fan on Facebook (deborah.raney) or follow her on Twitter (@authordebraney).  


  1. Looks like we have one thing in common! I dole out one peanut M&M for every hundred words. :)

  2. You must add Pearl Harbor to your song list. I listen to movie scores while writing, as well. Great motivator. I have not added snacks
    yet, might hold off on that for a while. Really do love those M & M Peanuts though.

  3. Karen, you are so stingy!!! ;) You must write faster than I do! It'd take me a year to finish a bag at that rate!

  4. Becky, I, too, LOVE the soundtrack to Pearl Harbor. If I'd been doing a Top 10 list, it definitely would have been on there. One problem for me is that if I'm too familiar with the movie, then the soundtrack starts to evoke the movie, rather than scenes for my book, so the more obscure the film, the better. One of my favorite soundtracks was Bonfire of the Vanities, which I bought simply because the composer was Dave Grusin. The music was so lush and gorgeous that I thought I'd surely love the movie. NOT. So now I often choose movie soundtracks based on the composer, and it's better if I don't ever see the movie!


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