Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How I Write

I'm always interested in how people do things, the same things I do, differently from me.  I recently asked a few other bloggers how they write.  It was interesting.

So I thought I'd share my process.

I keep a running list of ideas in my planner.  If I don't have that handy, I text the idea to myself and write it down later.  Once I get an idea, it kind of just stews in my brain until I'm ready to write about it.  Right now I have about 40 ideas for future posts.  I guess that means the every weekday thing isn't running me dry.

Sometimes a particular idea will become clear, complete itself in my head.  That's probably the one I'll write about that day.

Or I'll come up with what I think is a good opener.  That's enough to get me started so I go for it.

Other times something happens in my life and I blow off all my earlier ideas and go with the flavor of the day.  And even if I go to my list, I still go with my mood.  I'll read through a few until I find one that strikes my fancy that day.  Serious.  Playful.  Snotty.  It really just depends on the day.

I am very much a stream-of-consciousness writer.  I have an idea and I just write.  Whatever comes.  So sometimes the idea may be complete, sometimes it's lacking.  Sometimes I finish and my post ended up no where near where I intended it to go.  But it's a flow thing.  I feel like I am following the thought, letting it lead me.

I'm a pretty good speller and grammarian, so I edit as I go.  That said, I usually post and then find at least one mistake to fix.  Sometimes I fix a mistake, repost.  Find another one and fix it.  Repost.  I like to have it as perfect as possible.  C'mon.  It's in writing.  No one wants their mistakes in writing.

Once in a while I'm unsure on spelling or usage, so I open another tab and go to dictionary.com and check it out.  Does that word really mean what I think it means?  (Yes, I have to look things up, too.)

I get the whole thing written in about fifteen minutes, more or less, depending on length.  I preview it.  I fix mistakes.  I post it.  I fix more mistakes.  Repost.

Then I set it as my facebook status and wait for comments to come rolling in.  I usually have a long wait, because I tend to post after everyone has gone to bed.  But it's okay, I need to be more patient.  And I need to fight the hunger for positive feedback.

Actually, I'm still waiting for my first negative comment.  The one that tells me I'm an idiot.  What could I be thinking?  I guess I'm not controversial enough.  Give me time.

And I have liked posting more often.  Instead of just waiting until the mood strikes, I try to make myself post once a day during the week.  It's kind of like being in school, except with a lot more freedom and usually in my pajamas.

Sometimes I really like what I wrote.  I'll go back and read it over and over because I learned so much in the writing.  I'm not really sure where it came from, but I'm sure it wasn't from me -- it was for me.

Other times it falls flat.  Or wanders.  But other than flat out mistakes (or too many uses of the same word) I try not to edit the way it came out.  For me it's all about letting the thought take the lead.

I never know where we'll end up.

And, yes, I found my ink well.

1 comment:

Dona said...

You're an idiot! Not really. I just wanted to get that out of the way so you could say it has been done. I LOVE to read your blog. I can hear you in my head. Snotty. I can totally hear the inflection with which you would say that word. I love that you are posting everyday and I love that I am up at 12:56 to be the first positive comment to come rolling in, except that it was negative. Remember? You're an idiot. Not really.