How do you write?

Quite the question really.
I’m always fascinated by how other authors do their thing. I know how I write. I know how stories come together for me. I know to trust my process because I’ve learnt to trust how my mind works.
(Learnt is the correct word, I’m not American.)
Doris was watching me work the other day and she didn’t know how I could sit and write, not stare at the screen trying to formulate the perfect sentence but get on with the story and write.
Her question got me thinking.
I don’t outline, I make notes as I go but that tends to be after the fact. I’ll bullet point what a chapter was about once I’m done with that chapter. Sometimes I have a logline and sometimes a very short paragraph with the main guts of the story. Sometimes I lose the bloody notebook that contains my thoughts on the story. (I left it at home in Mahau Sound and spent weeks looking for it until Superman said when we were in Sydney that he found a black notebook!)
I know what I’m writing. I know my characters. I know where they need to be and why, and I know what they’re up against. It’s all in my head as still images, videos, and seemingly random conversations.
There are times when I struggle to write but that is mostly because of interruptions. Intrusions into my zone. I can write with Freda and Doris (and the rest of my kids) around chatting and doing their thing … because I always have. I can write with music playing, I prefer that to silence. It’s other intrusions that make it difficult to stay in the zone. People who don’t get that I can’t just stop and engage with them when I’m working.

The other thing I tend to do is alternate between long-hand and my MacBook. Sometimes it’s easier to write with a fountain pen and sometimes a pencil does the trick.

As long as I can see and hear my characters I can write. That’s why I don’t like radio stations with too much talking, they’re intrusive. Mostly I listen to Spotify or CDs (yes, I still have CDs.)

Could be that overthinking causes that staring at a blank page thing.
The sentence doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to exist. We’re not churning out perfect first drafts. A perfect first draft is a mythical creature.
Tell the story.
Perfection is nonsense and will rob you of all joy and steal your story from under your feet.
After all, you’re not done when the first draft is complete, are you? There are edits to come, and then more edits, and more edits.
Relax. šŸ™‚

If you felt so inclined you could pop over and buy me a coffee!


One thought on “How do you write?

  1. You’re so right! The sentence doesn’t have to be perfect. The first draft is always a pile of crap and has to be revised. But you can’t revise what you haven’t written. I actually rather like it that we all have different ways to write. It’s what makes us unique.

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