My readers should already know of the wonderful Lisa Kilian (some of you are here because of her!). From her blog, What Not to Do as a Writer, comes an entry that immediately got my brain-gears grinding and banging away in a fit of “HEY GO WRITE ABOUT THIS THING NOW”. Check her entry, then read on! Mistake #110: The Writing Pedestal
The Writing Process. It’s a big thing, isn’t it? I don’t really understand the whole “muse” business, because I have known for many years that all creation is just living, experiencing, and really thinking, which condenses down into creativity, to burst out covered in this muse-like goodness.
I also don’t comprehend routines and rituals. I change too much to feel like there is one special key to unlocking my writer self. There’s no one thing that I always want to do, there’s not a single place that I have dedicated as my “writing space”, and there isn’t a specific time of day that I work best at. If I have any ritual to writing, it’s thinking a whole lot, then writing.
I write anywhere I want, on whatever suits me at the time. Notebooks (filled two in a quest to write a novel; it’s on hold while other projects get finished, and also while I come to terms with having to copy all that writing onto my computer). Shoddy old computers which CRASH WHEN YOU SAVE. I currently write on my mini laptop, a white and mint green EeePC, using my fullsize USB keyboard (the one with the bad W key that I have learnt to press just a little firmer to get it to work).
I write in our living room, bedroom, or the back room where the cats like to chitter at doves in the garden. Sometimes I write in the car (the joys of both notebooks and miniature laptop computers). I write when people are doing things around me, or I don’t, because those things are either interesting or maddening. I write to music, and I stop to sing along, and I get hungry and go make a sandwich.
Mostly, though, I just sit and write. Or sit and look at the ceiling. Or sit and have cats come out of nowhere to lay on my lap so I have to somehow write around them. And the words come out because I’ve been thinking about writing when I’m not physically writing. More than half of creating any story is thinking about it. Then scrambling to find a scrap of paper because I thought of something awesome!
The Process is thinking, a lot, then just banging it out and seeing what can be done with it later. The Process is not caring when I’m writing something dumb, and I know it’s dumb, because I can fix it in revisions. The Process is writing in a daze when I’m half asleep, and writing in a worse daze when everything is working perfectly. The Process needs no more than myself, my thoughts, and some (in)convenient writing implements.
The Process is getting angry and giving up. The Process is starting again. The Process of writing is to write. It’s not magical, and it totally is. It’s internal, and external. It’s all the times in life when I’m not writing. It’s the collective of my thoughts, and the thoughts of others, and the madness necessary to create.