Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Madness to My Method

Many writers, professionals, freelance,  indy and new alike seem to subscribe to the idea of  "You're not a writer if you don't write every single day". I can't and do not write every single day. But that doesn't mean I am not a writer. The way I see it is as long as I am writing, and making progress, then I am a writer.

However, there are certain things I require in order to get real writing done.

1) Tea.
I need tea, or occasionally pop, before I write. I need the comfort of warm tea or the subconscious, overlooked action of reaching out for a drink then quaffing. Not only is tea warm and comfy but I think the time I take to drink is the equivalent of my brain coming up for air.
It also helps if it's dreary or rainy outside but that's not always the case and one can't control the weather.

2) Inspiration.
I need to be inspired. I need to have ideas that are ready to spill forth from my fingers. Make no mistake, I always have ideas. I spend probably 90 percent of my time thinking of my various stories and characters. I never have a shortage of ideas, they're just not always in order. Or sometimes there is gaps between scenes or situations. I have to have some sort of inspired path to follow. I feel lucky the rare times the story just seems to write itself.

3) Options.
I call it hop-scotching through stories. I have at any one time at least 2 stories going on. I can work for weeks on one story and then suddenly switch to the other. It's refreshing.

4) Music, TV or silence.
I don't like to write when people are around. I find them distracting. Everything I write has a specialized playlist exclusive to the story. I prefer to listen to their respective playlists while writing but sometimes that's not always possible. Ambient TV sound is sufficient as long as it's something unexciting.

5) The internet.
This might seem counter-productive but I prefer to write with an internet connection for research purposes. I like having an idea or fact and being able to check it's accuracy in a second rather than going back later.

6) My laptop.
I like typing over pen and paper writing though I will write on paper if I have to, obviously. Sometimes one is stricken with inspiration and IT MUST BE WRITTEN RIGHT NOW!  so you grab the nearest pen and paper and write it down. Or take a memo in your not-a-smartphone-phone at 2 am.
But laptop is best.

7) Room to move.
If I am stuck I have a tendency to get up and walk around the room saying "Such and such happens and then.....?" and just try to think of the next logical step in the story or dialog or what have you. This is necessary.

8) Blogging/researching publishers/submitting/making lists counts as writing.
Gathering your resources counts as writing. It helps drive your progress forward. It counts.

So that is the madness in my method. It works for me. As long as I'm making relatively steady progress then I am a writer. It doesn't really matter how I do it, just as long as I get there.

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