There are different methods for different authors but I wanted to share mine in case that it may motivate others to scribe away.
Writing is not easy. But the payoff is worth it if you stick with it. I've always equated writing with my weekend hikes, which are not easy either. At times, I don't want to get off my sofa and trudge to the top of the William Powell Bridge by Key Biscayne (or the Blue Hills just outside of Boston when I lived there and now visit) to hike a mile across and back.
|William Powell Bridge, Key Biscayne|
It's the same with writing.
There are times when I really don't want write but I do it anyway. (Again, that invisible version of me nagging me to write things down. Such is the beautiful curse of our lot.) Those are the times I end up writing a chapter or two in one sitting. It's hard to explain what drives me to sit down and write a novel (I still can't believe I've written four books in 6 years), or to jot entries in my journal or here on my blog/site.
It's part compulsion, part nature. The words tumble out of me, sometimes with the ease of breathing. Other times, labored as if I have a stuffy nose. I don't know where the words comes from. It's as if it comes from a bottomless creative inner well and I keep dunking my pen for more stories.
I find that when I'm not writing, I am writing at least in my head as I walk around downtown Fort Lauderdale or along the shaded-streets of Coconut Grove or bike ride in Boston and Providence when I visit.
Thoughts form, sentences flow and I stop what I'm doing to scribble some passages down on a Post-It or any piece of paper within hands reach. Then suddenly, the thoughts become sentences, which become paragraphs, which becomes pages of words. And an hour, or two clip by. It doesn't matter how raw or unpolished the copy is. The important thing to remember is to write what you can at the time. Get the copy down in some form. No one can do the work but yourself. You have to will yourself against the blank screen staring back at you like a draw.
You will always have time to massage the wording with the rewrites (which I find more fun.)
(Photo to the left is Blackstone Blvd. in Providence where I enjoyed bike riding.)
It helps that I carry a notepad wherever I go to scribble dialogue or descriptions from a neighborhood or restaurant that I think will come in handy for a future chapter. (Napkins from Subway and Dunkin' Donuts also work well.)
What also helps me is reading some of my favorite writers. I find that creativity begats creativity. I read writers and journalists whom inspire me.
And then there are ther print-outs of a recent chapter or two that I wrote and then edit at the gym on the ellyptical machine (more difficult than it sounds) or while sipping an small iced caramel McCafe because writing can be so unpredictable. You never know what words are going to come to mind and what fits best when.
Other potential helpful links:
Here is a link to another previous blog entry which explained how I wrote my first novel, Boston Boys Club, and then sold it.
And here is a link to a previous entry I wrote on How To Write When You Have a Full Time Job