The idea for this post didn’t come easily. I hadn’t yet started writing anything regular (a buffer is a good idea when it comes to me), so I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with the post. Should I write more about pre-writing, or maybe how to deal with the inevitable question of whether I can call myself a writer? It all seemed too contrived and, frankly, rather boring.
To try to figure it out, I was talking with a close friend, and the conversation went something like this (it’s paraphrased):
Her: Hm. How you write. How it makes you feel.
Me: I just… write. I don’t know how to explain it.
Me: I mainly just… write.
Her: Okay, how do you prepare to write?
Me: What do you mean?
Her: You really do just sit down and write, don’t you?
Me: …I think so.
It sounds like less work than it is. I do a lot of pre-writing or I have the story set up in my head when I sit down to write. So… when I do write, I am just putting pen to paper or fingers to keys, and the words usually flow easily. My notes and outlines are next to me so I can refer to them, and I’m constantly re-reading what I’ve just written. If I’m having trouble with a word or phrase, or I’m unsure about a fact, I highlight it or circle it and work on the issue later. It doesn’t usually slow me down.
Unlike others, there is no specific place or set-up needed for me to write. I don’t need music or a sunny day in the park; I need a computer or my notebook and a pen. I never had the luxury of choosing the place when I had time or the level of noise, so I can write as easily at a party as I can alone in the library.
My writing habit is that I never had the opportunity to form a habit. A part of me needed to write, to tell a story, so I wrote when I had the opportunity. I’ve been known to stop mid-conversation so I could scrawl something in my notebook or on a napkin or (a few times) on my arm. Yes, I’m that odd.
So, when people ask how I write, I don’t have a response that doesn’t sound obnoxious, but it is honest. All I do is write.
What do you do? Do you have specific set-up that’s needed to write? Do you need music or your desk or can you write anytime, anywhere? When you can’t get what you want, can you still write?
- Shut Up and Write (lifeandartandshit.wordpress.com)
- P is for Pen & Paper (scribblinginthestorageroom.wordpress.com)