Why haven’t I been doing more Friday Five posts? I love Friday. And I love 5’s despite my aversion to odd numbers and the fact that Novalee Nation had a deep fear of fives from one of my favorite movies, Where the Heart Is.

(Well, actually, Novalee feared #7 in the book, but this is one of the rare times I liked the movie better than the book, no disrespect to Billie Letts.)

But anyway, here’s a Friday Fives with a collection of writing tips, tools, and tricks that can help you get your fingers moving, words flowing, and mind focused!

Oddball Writing Tips

Five Oddball Writing Tips

1.) Listen to Gaming Soundtracks

I’ve been a longtime fan of listening to epic movie soundtracks such as Requiem for a Dream, (so gorgeously haunting,) Gladiator, and my favorite … The Truman Show, while writing. But I’ve recently discovered how gaming soundtracks are a great tool because they are created to help players focus and concentrate.

Help with focus and concentration? Yes, please!

To find them, try doing a google search for “gaming soundtracks for studying,” and make a playlist on YouTube or Spotify. Here’s an article with some suggestions. One more to add is Animal Crossing that my son’s friend recommended. (Thanks for the tip, Tim!)

So for kicks, trying listening to gaming soundtracks the next time you pound out some words. You go, mighty writer.

2.) Thumb holes are EVERYTHING!

Those who know me probably know I’m a runner. If you don’t know me, the fact that I wear race gear 80% of the time gives that away. (I really need to update my wardrobe.) But long-sleeve running shirts with thumb holes aren’t just good for marathons. They’re also great for writing marathons because they keep your hands warm and wrists from sticking to your keyboard!

Oddball Writing Tips

So for kicks, trying listening to gaming soundtracks the next time you pound out some words with warm hands and chafe-free wrists. You go, mighty writer.

3.) Try the Buddy Ear Bud Rule

Do you love writing with buddies at a coffee shop but can never tell whether or not your friend wants to talk? Or are you tired of having your writing sprints interrupted by chatter? Well, then, you’re in luck because I have the solution for you!

This, my friends, is the ear bud rule.

No ear buds in means, “I’m just messing around on my computer checking Facebook updates, therefore, I am available for any and all conversation or questions, and oh my gosh, you HAVE to see this cat video!”

Oddball Writing Tips

One ear bud in means, “I am working, but not on anything serious so feel free to start a conversation or ask a question or show me a particularly funny cat video because one can NEVER get tired of funny cat videos.

Oddball Writing Tips

Both ear buds in means, “Leave me alone, I am in deep writing mode, so don’t look at me, talk to me, smell me, or entice me with any more cat videos unless you’d like to be kicked.”

Oddball Writing Tips

Or it could simply mean, “Do not Disturb,” your choice.


If you’re writing solo, double ear buds also block out annoying coffeehouse chatter from your neighbors. Unless, of course, you happen to like chatter. If so, what can you do if you’re writing from home? Why don’t you…

4.) Try Coffitivity for a coffee house feel

lettermarkI just love this! You can download the app or use the website, choosing from Morning Murmur, Lunchtime Lounge, or University Undertones, my personal favorite … although there’s this one weird part in the loop that sounds like someone is hacking. The volume is adjustable and you can also add in music from your library, Spotify, Pandora, and more.

So for kicks, trying listening to gaming soundtracks and coffeehouse chatter the next time you pound out some words with warm hands, chafe-free wrists, and both ear buds in. You go, mighty writer.

But what if you get stuck on a particularly troubling scene?

5.) Change your position

According to this awesome article on Lifehacks titled, “9 Weird Habits That Famous Writers Formed to Write Better,” Mark Twain wrote while lying down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Dan Brown hung upside down. (Um … picture, please?) Francine Prose wrote facing a wall.

Victor Hugo wrote naked. (Um … no picture, please.)

As for me, I have several spots throughout my house to move to whenever I need comfort and snuggleness, (that’s a word, right?) to get me through a scene. Here’s my current favorite snuggle zone. Writing here makes me feel like Brooks Robinson is watching, giving me encouragement.

Oddball Writing Tips

I do love my Brooks.

And with that, you know what’s coming, right?

So for kicks, if you feel stuck, trying listening to gaming soundtracks and coffeehouse chatter the next time you pound out some words with warm hands, chafe-free wrists, and both ear buds in while lying down, standing up, or facing a wall … with or without clothes on.


You go, mighty writer.

Now it’s your turn!

QOTD: What kind of oddball writing habits do you have that I can include in a future post? Bonus points for those who share pictures. Fully clothed, though, please.

Happy writing and drawing!


Cross posted on As The Eraser Burns.


  1. The ear bud rules are pretty funny. But quite a nifty little trick.

  2. I need all the tricks I can get! 😉

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