Saturday, January 21, 2012

Story Fuel

I'm in full-tilt writing and revising mode, having cleared the decks to write for the next couple months with few interruptions. It's a good feeling when that time is there and the story is cooperating.  In the above pic, the white stack is the newly revised portion, the second draft; the blue stack is the first draft, with chapters yet to be revised.

Yesterday, a reader asked me "What do you eat when you write?"

I'd never been asked that before.
I thought it interesting that the reader did not say "Do you eat when you write?" but rather, "What do you eat . . ", seeming certain that some eating was going on.

Yes. Eating does go on.
Until recently, the munching was any or all of these: nuts, chocolate-covered almonds, mini Milky Ways (dark chocolate ones), popcorn, kettle corn, more chocolate . . .

I know, I know.
And so last week I stopped eating sugar and re-booted my food supplies.
Take a look at the current snacks-for-writing:

I'm not kidding.

And here's what I drink when I write:

Water.  Fizzy.

I know, I know, I'm being so virtuous I can hardly stand myself.

The question is:  which fuel will produce the best words/stories, mm?
Stay tuned . . .

Meanwhile: what do YOU munch on and drink as you sit at the computer, mm?


  1. While I'm not of the healthy veggie writing camp (you are virtuous!), I don't drink anything but tea and water when I write. I like to have a clear head. I do, however, eat junk when I take a break. Salty, crunchy items are my downfall (with an occasional, brief foray into sweets). I was told when I was pregnant that salty and crunchy cravings meant a boy, and sweet cravings meant a girl. I craved both (and had a boy). Let us know how veggies work for you. :-)

  2. A nice switch! I often will have yogurt or an English Muffin when I sit at my computer after coming in from the barn. A little OJ.

    Sounds like you are ready for some serious writing action!

  3. Remember those neurons need fat and protein. Brains don't run on bunny food for very long. (I alternate bacon with my carrots and celery).

  4. Tea. Copious amounts of tea. Strong, at first, and unsugared. Then stronger and with sugar. By the end of the day my tea is so strong that it has eaten most of my stomach lining.

  5. Two questions: Does this book have anything to do with rabbits and why is your water "fizzy"?

    I'm passionate about chocolate so your original munching list is quite appealing. I usually satisfy my urge to munch with coffee and a gluten-free KIND bar. Oh yes. . . and a few Guittard extra dark chocolate chips.

  6. Good luck with your sugar switch. My dad is trying that out as well.

    I like to munch on white cheddar popcorn while at the computer, but that can be problematic, since the cheese gets all over my fingers!

  7. Why guzzle fish oil and eat eggs while writing (and avoid too many nuts):

    "Omega-3s are known to be particularly crucial constituents of the outer membrane of brain cells. It is through the fat-rich cell membrane that all nerve signals must pass. In addition, as learning and memory forge new connections between nerve cells, new membranes must be formed to sheathe them. All brain cell membranes continuously need to refresh themselves with a new supply of fatty acids. A growing amount of research suggests that the omega-3s are best suited for optimal brain function.....It's possible to boost alertness, memory and stress resistance by supplying food components that are precursors of important brain neurotransmitters. One of them is choline, the fat-like B vitamin found in eggs." (

  8. That's January for you. Austere and full of virtue.

  9. Spicy buffalo pretzel pieces. Yum....

  10. i don't like to eat while i'm using my computer because it makes the keyboard all sticky.

  11. I am a painter, not really a writer (that sounds like something McCoy would say from Star Trek) and because of your post, I just realized that painting makes me eat WAY more than writing! I paint a section then hit the cupboards for potato chips and think about the painting. I walk back and forth from kitchen to art room staring at the painting and eating!

    When I write (my Thoroughbred blog) I don't nibble at all. Not even when I am editing. I never thought about this before, but maybe that is why I lost 7 pounds since I started back with horses. I thought it was from carrying water buckets!

  12. Ah, you virtuous eater! I would need to have the chocolate side of the choices when writing, but I use it as a reward when I finish a page or a rough spot. My usual diet looks like your veggie plate, so I figure it all evens out at the end of the day.

  13. I think sugar works best. Or pizza rolls. I like the unhealthy, rotting my insides types of foods to write. Although, water or tea is usually the drink. :)

  14. This is interesting. I eat a lot of chocolate too when I write, and I also drink water.

  15. When I am really working and concentrating on either spreadsheets or writing, I "sip" coffee or hot tea (cold tea in the summer) and take breaks to eat. I like your healthy 2012 choices and it inspires me to follow suit.


  16. btw Mike and Ikes= colorful, small juicy fruit-like candies. I'll eat 'em by the handfuls. mmmmmmmmmmm

  17. I'm more of a night writer to be honest, my mind flies with ideas at night, and this tends to go hand in hand with drinking coke. My other favourite is tea, milk, two sugars.

    As for food... not really sure, I've never really thought about this!

  18. When I write, my mom says I can't eat by the computer, so I eat before I write, that way my body is fueled for an hour at the computer. However, when I'm using a paper and pencil, I eat chex mix, crasins, stuff like that.
    -a student

  19. Sharon, two things.
    A.) Thank you for the brain cell lesson. It is exactly what I needed to force me to eat (gag) salmon twice a week as my doctor recommended. Transferring “my heart needs it” to “it will help me write better” did the trick.
    B.) I’m going to go way out on a limb here and bet that your first draft doesn’t look anything like my first draft. Mine are so bad I’m always afraid I might die before revising and someone would find them, then everyone would know it is all a farce. That’s probably why I work and rework my first ten chapters compulsively until something forces me to move on (like a character who has kicked my out of bed). Oh, I forgot there is a
    C.) I was given a brand new Macbook Pro for Christmas. I am so terrified something might happen to it I can’t put food or drink on the same table/desk. Both Parker and James work for Apple and they tell me all the time, “Don’t call AppleCare if you ruin that computer by being careless with your glass of water, because it won’t be covered.” Sigh....