I've been thinking a lot about why I write and waiting for inspiration for my next piece of writing to strike again. But one thing I haven't really thought about is the process I go through when I write. So here I'll muse for a while about my writing process.
When I was a young child I spent many hours making up and telling stories. I used to skip around the garden telling stories about magic toys, fairies, enchanted woods, princesses, all the things I had been reading about in my Enid Blyton books. I had my favourite skipping routes; one of the best was along a wall behind the ferns. I think I enjoyed the soft ferns brushing against my hands as I skipped along. So I was a storyteller at a young age - literally!
Later I took to writing my stories down. I used standard lined exercise books and the first few pages were neat. But as the story poured out of me my writing got scruffy and I didn't always stay on the lines. The words flowed out and I could hardly keep up, there seemed to be far too many for me to get down on paper.
I developed a serious stationery addiction later in life and I always have at least 10 notebooks dotted around. Some have notes and fledgling stories in them; others are pure and virginal, too good to write in yet. They are waiting for an important story or idea, the sort that demands a nice new notebook!
More and more I sit at my laptop and tap out my stories. This is OK most of the time but as my mind works faster than I can type I sometimes get tangled up and need to stop to unjumble what I've written. I enjoy the editing process as I don't have to cross out what I've written - that always feels sad, as if I'm rejecting the ideas and words. Writing can become that personal, can't it? I also like the fact that I don't have to type up what I've written in order to share it with my writing friends, even if it's not something I've written specifically for the blog. I can copy and paste things from my hard drive and share it in an instant, getting feedback that improves my writing.
I often feel guilty about all the half finished, barely started pieces of writing that litter my notebooks and hard drive. It feels like I've abandoned old friends and not thought about them for too long. But I find it hard to go back to them. They belong to the past and I can't seem to detach myself from the time they were written; I struggle to look at them with fresh eyes. Maybe this is a skill that I need to learn...
I don't have a time when I find it easiest to write, I can write first thing in the morning, after lunch or at night. I think I need to schedule a regular time to write as this will improve the discipline of writing for me - I can be very haphazard in the approach to my writing. So I intend to set aside some regular time to write, maybe just an hour a day and see what happens. With NaNoWriMo coming up soon I need to establish this habit soon to give me the best chance of succeeding this November.
So that's how it works for me. It's not perfect and it needs work but then being a writer is all about perfecting your craft.