Someone asked me about my writing process.
Not sure who, but it was someone.
My response was a simple, straightforward, and to the point, “Hmmmmmmm?”
Yes, I used all the m’s in hmmmmmmm because I had to ponder said question.
For some time.
Then I remembered there’s a reason my blogsite is called scatterednotes. But that’ll come later.
Seriously though, The Writing Process is vital. Any person who writes has to, must have, a process. Analyzing said process helps us better understand, well, The Process. Over time, you’ll want to tighten The Process. Maximize it in all its processual glory. Allow it to be a fully automatic weapon in your writing arsenal.
The Process, once you realize what the holy hell your process is, will make you a better writer. Consider The Process, like fresh-from-the-Earth crude, can be crass. And like crude, The Process can be refined for better results. The difference is that you’ll change, tweak, titty twist, and pound your process into perfection without adding more serious-as-shit chemicals to it. Yummy!
So, well, okay, here’s a brief look at My Process. I’ll skip straight to the writing part of The Process as not to dullify brain matter transforming it into useless goo:
First thing, I don’t have a typical time that I write. I can get into an ink-slinging groove in the evening or the middle of the day. Or morning time. Does’t matter.
Second thing is, I don’t have a writing desk, office, space with windows or doors, or specific coffee shop. Truth is, I can write anywhere. And I have.
Typically though, when at home, I sit in a cozy Ergo-Klectic leather chair. It gives perfect posture and support. I like it. This is where probably 80% of words get made into sentences.
I use Microsoft Word for Mac. I’m comfortable with Word. I’m used to it. I know my way around Word documents. I’ve tried to convert to Mac’s Pages, but it wasn’t quite the same. And I didn’t want to worry about relearning a new, albeit easy’ish, program. I’ve also tried Scrivener because so many people who’ve used it seem to love it. I DID NOT. Hey, if you use it, props to you. It’s your thing. It is not my thing. I did not appreciate the learning curve or the look, or even the feel. I will use Word through the draft stages to the finished product, all with Track Changes.
I have two things I do before words fly to page. First, I will set my font to Garamond 12-point. It’s what I like. Second, I’ll have tabs set accordingly and I like to double space. Call ‘em quirks, rituals, good luck charms, whatever.
Gotta do them.
My writing time varies, and as of the most recent, it hasn’t been very long. Yes, that’s in the works to change. I like to hit at least 1000 words. Those words are in the form of story notes (scattered, if you will), novel work, or short stories. Although, if I’m doing a short story, say 1500-3000’ish words, I’ll hammer that out in one sitting.
Then I’ll take a break. Or set things aside. Breaks are good because, well, fuck off time is necessary. I’ll Internet shit, Twitter around, listen to tunes, walk the dog, or eat. Or just play with my goddamn iPhone because iPhone. DUH.
Background noise is part of My Process too. I will either have a game on in the background, Sports Center, MLB Network, or a music channel. Not sure why, but it feels natural to have words come to me with the noise. Same as writing in a coffee joint. Ambient noise just feels right.
I’ll go through my first drafts, make any changes, again, all in Word and then if all seems good, words are shipped via the magic of cyberspace to an editor I have never met.
That is My Process. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine. Over time, I shall fine tune, polish, refine, hug, and cuddle it in order to make things easier for this writing thing.
So, what’s your process? How long do you write? Where’s your preferred spot to make words happen? Like a pile of doggy doo, every writer’s process is different. Sure, some may look alike, but they’re just a little different. Or they can be strangely different. Doesn’t matter because it’s theirs or your process.