Friday, June 19, 2009

Using the Six Senses: Touch

We touch so many things on a daily basis, but we rarely think about how their feel affects our writing. If you write in a notebook, the softness of the paper, the flow of the ink from the pen, or the scratch of the pencil as it moves across the page impacts your mood. If you write on a computer, the feel of the keys beneath your fingertips affects your frame of mind.

What do we feel the most during the day? Our clothing. After all, it's hanging from our bodies. What do you wear? How does it affect you psychologically? There is no right answer here, only ideas for you to consider when you're getting dressed.

Does the thought of writing in your softest pair of pajamas sound like heaven? Try it! Or does that thought fill you with horror? Maybe you won't "feel" professional unless you're in business attire to write. That's okay too.

I wear casual clothes to write. I never write in my pajamas but know other writers who do. Who is correct? We all are. I do what's right for me, and they do what's right for them. The important thing is to feel comfortable when writing. If you're constantly adjusting pantyhose or sucking in your breath because your pants are too tight, you might want to try a different writing uniform. Maybe a tracksuit? A pair of jeans? Or at the very least, a pair of stretchy dress pants.

What about hair and makeup? You might object that hair and makeup don't apply to the sense of touch, but I disagree. Sometimes when I don't wear makeup, my face feels oily. I feel not-put-together. Does this affect my writing? I believe it does. However, other days, makeup feels like a mask--one I don't want to wear. I prefer the feel of my skin on those days. My hair always feels better brushed, but I let my mood decide on the style.

Also, do you enjoy touching soft things? My long-haired cat jumps on my lap occasionally, and her angora-like fur always makes me smile. A fluffy throw can produce the same, calming effect.

*** This is Cookie--my lovely writing partner. Are you catching the full red-eye glare from her blue eyes? My photo software cannot detect red-eye that big!

Let's talk temperature. Are you always hot, even in the throes of winter? Or do you need a sweater in July? Consider keeping a desktop fan nearby for those hot moments. And go ahead and leave a cardigan hanging over your chair--just in case. I get so cold in the winter, the skin on my fingers contracts and my rings fall off. This does not help my writing!
Does the sense of touch affect your writing? I'd love to hear from you!

Join me next week when we discuss the remaining senses: smell, sound, and taste.

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. I love the feel of the keyboard right underneath my fingertips.

    I love hovering my fingers over those keys while I am considering a thought.

    Cute kitty :)

  2. You really hit upon the senses well:) I've never given it much thought as to what I'm wearing or feeling when I write, but as you mentioned some-- I do think now I write in certain ways. Comfortable clothing always--be in PJs or what. Can't be too hot--like I am now--oven's on and it's almost 100 out. Ugh

  3. Aaaww! Cute fluffy little kitty! You can just sink your fingers into the kitty's fur whenever you need to get the sensation of your hero tangling his fingers into heroine's soft silky tresses! ;) LOL Sorry, couldn't resist that one!

    Hope you're enjoying your kid-free time! Must be nice! :)

  4. There's just something about holding a cup of tea in one hand as I collect my thoughts, then pound away.
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    ~ Wendy

  5. I thought I was kinda weird because I can't write well unless I have showered and gotten ready for the day. It's like I cannot get my brain in gear. I feel grimey and uncomfortable. Here's to a little makeup and hairspray for a good work count day! lol

  6. Great post! When I'm writing, I have to be comfortable - and usually when I write, it's at the end of the day. I'll pull back my hair, slip on a comfy pair of shorts or pajama pants, and lounge on the couch or my bed. After sitting in an office all day, I can't stand the thought of wearing my work clothes, etc. at home. I change soon after I get in the door!

  7. I'm with Wendy--especially in the winter--I love holding my coffee mug while I think.

    Cookie is SO cute!

  8. I'll tell you what. I haven't been able to get comfortable all day (ever have one of those days?) and my writing has been PAINFUL today. Maybe you're on to something. For instance, as I'm typing this comment, all I can think is that I wish my hair was in a pony tail, because it's itching my neck!

  9. Tess: Oh yes! The air between the fingers and the keyboard trembles!

    Terri: 100 is WAY too hot for writing! I'll send you some of our unseasonably cold weather if you'll send me some sunshine.

    Jody: Yes, Cookie's fur is incredibly soft! Love her!

    Wendy: Okay, now I'm thirsty. Hot tea is my comfort beverage.

    Sherrinda: I know! Me too. It's hard to find the groove when I feel like a toadstool.

    Melissa: Sounds nice! Great contrast between work clothes and comfort clothes.

    Jennifer: Coffee...ahhhh! Thanks, I melt at my little Cookie-boo!

    Katie: Yeah, my hair feels heavy right now too. Maybe we need to keep ponytail holders next to the computer?

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  10. my cat's name is cookie! what are the chances of that? she's a turkish van (mostly white with two big splotches on her side, a dark tail and dark ears). her nickname is boo-boo, and that is what my daughter calls her. so cute. :) great post about touch...eager to bring that sense to life in my next writing.

  11. Jeannie: I call my cat Cookie-boo! She's so adorable. Yours sounds like a little cutie. Love cats!!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Awesome post! I've never thought about this before. I don't really have much of a preference on clothing so long as it's loose and comfortable. Ditto to everything else. So long as it's not distracting me from writing, it doesn't matter to me where or what it is. :D

  13. Danyelle: You've got it--as long as it's not distracting from writing, it doesn't matter.

    Thanks for stopping by!!

  14. This was great. I like comfy clothes to write in, and I need to be cool bordering on chilly. I have a fan here in my office, and I usually sit near the air vent at the coffee shop where I do most of my work. :)

  15. Erica: Temperature is such a behind-the-scenes, yet important, part of the writing equation. Good luck staying cool in the summer!

    Thanks for stopping by!


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