lunes, 18 de marzo de 2013

The writing process or… what exactly do you do?

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I write a lot about writing, about books, about characters, because sometimes I feel like I’m a writer first, and everything else comes second. But being a writer is a tricky thing. It’s a solitary thing. It’s also a very personal thing. People sometimes ask me about my writing process: How do you write? What do you do? When do you do it? And, sometimes, I answer, but at the same time, I want to tell them: It doesn’t matter. Not really. Not if you’re asking me because you want to do the same. What works for me might not work for you. In fact, what works for me PROBABLY won’t work for you.

But people keep asking. Sometimes it’s curiosity. I think I asked this question a lot of writers when I was starting out, too. And curiosity I can understand. But writers …we’re very peculiar people. So don’t be surprised at how very strange my rituals seem to you. I would even say, don’t try to replicate them. Be strange in your own way.

So, what do I do? I need silence. Complete silence, at least to start. The first line is always the hardest part for me. The first paragraph. Once I’m done with that I can usually continue even without the total silence I like. But silence is best.

And when I say silence, I mean TOTAL silence. I don’t even listen to music. Music is good for inspiration, I will agree to that, but once I’m actually writing, music is just a distraction. And I get distracted very, very easily.

The other thing I desperately need is a computer. If I’d been born fifty years ago, I probably wouldn’t have managed to be a writer. They say people get used to everything, but I can’t get used to writing by hand. I need to type; typing calms me down. Writing things down by hand is just messy and unpractical. It’s for ideas, snippets, for making sure you don’t forget something, but when you actually get down to business, for me, it’s got to be in front of a computer.

Preferably one with internet. See, it’s this thing I suffer from. It’s kinda like OCD. I have to make things right. I have to edit. I want the chapter to come out perfect the first time around (which is, of course, impossible, and terribly impractical and it ends up taking me twice as long to write things because of this), so I have to look up things. RIGHT AWAY. If I don’t, they’ll just bug me. And when things bug me, I just can’t write. 

I’ve heard people that get up early to write (HA. If I could get up early to do ANYTHING, I’d probably exercise more). I like to write late at night. Very late. Midnight is early for me when I’m writing. I don’t know why, but it seems like I’m at my best when it’s dark outside. Almost like a vampire. (But a real one, not a Stephenie Meyer one). 

So, writing process. Everyone has one, I guess. I doubt my little quirks will do you much good, but now I’m actually curious…what do YOU do? What are your little tricks?

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