Tuesday, June 18, 2013

About Writers and Writing

The writing process is a strange phenomenon. Every writer will say this, and yet for each the process is different. Perhaps that is part of the ‘strangeness’, yes, and yet I believe the process remains strange no matter how each writer goes about the task of recording words.

I've read that writers require isolation. Very true, yes, and sometime we need noise to egg us on! Some of us flex fingers and shoulders and sit down and write, write, write for a set time. Some write in the morning, some at night. Some of us recline, some sit ramrod straight; some type on an old typewriter, some cannot do without a computer, and some of us still employ paper and pen. Writers don’t run, they say, or partake in exercise, and some hit the gym or the road with regularity. Some of us need an enclosed space without distractions, and some require huge, far vistas for the creative process to work.

Different and strange. Each has a combination that works.

I know of a fair few writers who have finished a manuscript…only to completely abandon it. Some reach the halfway mark…and then leave it in a box somewhere to return to years later. Some write beginnings, and stop there. Perhaps those beginnings will one day morph into a full-fledged book, who knows? Yes, I have a few of those! Some writers pen the ending first. Some start in the middle. Some list chapter names. Some plot the whole affair out first. Some simply begin and the story leads the way. I’m one of them!

My point? There is no set way to tackle the creative process. It’s different…because we are different. In my opinion, books on how to write are merely a guideline, never gospel. Try and follow a how-to to the letter…and the writer will suffer frustration! Then again, let it be said, for some a set way actually works…and that proves just how different we are!


Some of us drink coffee (a-hem, yes) and some prefer tea. Some go fizzy, others desire juice and water. Perhaps a glass of wine, a brandy, a designer drink…

Inspiration comes from everywhere. Other books new and old. Nature. Music, photographs, social situations, movies, words, conversations, the view, a bright object. Dreams, drugs, meditation. Again, the process, the spark, is different for each, another kind of strangeness.

This is who we are. Doubt you can pin us down!

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