Saturday, July 30, 2011

Making Room for Writing

Writing doesn't happen without conscious thought. It doesn't happen without some planning, of some kind. It needs a time and place. And each writer has to find for her- or himself what that time and place is; if it is structured and regular such as a daily practice or random as when an idea strikes or the words flow.

And the reality is that it's a continuum and all of us fall somewhere along it.

We can look at our lives and think about:
- where am I writing?
- what time of day do I write most?
- what time of day do I write most productively?
- how do I write? in short bursts? do I need warm-up time followed by a focused stretch?
- does it depend on what I am writing?
- what do I like writing?
- what helps me write? what hinders me?

And what works? Do it more. What is causing stress or writing blocks? Do it less.

Sounds simple - but it isn't. And I suspect it's not always the same.

Today I had a unique situation, where I had to be in a somewhat confined space for a period of time. And I had to always be at the ready, yet a lot of time was spent waiting. Or could have been. But today I used that time to write and when I hit a wall I told myself to just go and see what came on out the page.

Yes, actual pen and paper.

And I wrote a lot. I completed one chapter, wrote two more, and started a fourth chapter of my memoir. The missing chapters have now been whittled down by four.

I'm nearing The End.

All because I was semi-locked in a room-like space for a number of hours, with minimal contact with the outside world (no computer, no true private phone time, no ability to just wander out and run and errand or get involved in something else). Confined with a deadline and I did it.