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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Writing Method

A couple times this year I have been asked, "How do you write?" Each time I hear this I want to reply with a literal answer of, "with a keyboard" but I know that isn't the question. What they want to know, I think, is what is my writing method? So today I thought I would answer that.

I first must say that there is certainly a difference between writing for a book and writing for the blog. The book needs some continuity whereas the blog can be a little bit more random. In all reality though I think more about my blog than book because when I come up with a new concept or metaphor it just instantly appears in my mind. I am always thinking about my blog though, sometimes day in advance.

When I do sit down and write I write at a fast pace. The slower I go the worse it usually is. I spend no time thinking about the words I write and many times I am amazed at myself as to what I wrote. Several people have told me I write in, "stream of consciousness" but I don't really know what that means.

There are times when I will pause and think about where I want to go with a story or example, but these are momentary pauses. I have found if I have to sit and think about something then it isn't ready to be written. As for editing what I write, I will not change what I have written. Yes, grammar or typo errors are corrected, but when it comes to the content changing it is just not fair to the thoughts and feelings I had at that point in time. It was this aspect of writing that crushed me in school.

I can remember in College Comp 101 we had to write the rough draft, edit it, edit it, and edit it some more until we had the final version. My grades always had the deductions for not having the evolution of the finished product, but why would I want to edit it when I liked what I did the first time? The teacher one time said, "Don't be lazy." but I don't see it that way. Back when I was in college comp 101 I didn't know I had the gift to write but I remember I wrote in the same manner as I do now.

I have another quirk that I have talked about in the past and that is I will not read what I write. I used blog2print.com to make a book of all my 2010 posts and I am looking at the book right now, but I won't read it. Why won't I read my own work? When I have tried I get flooded with thoughts and I will nit-pick my work to death, "I wrote that?! What was I thinking? I used that word to describe..." So to avoid that I simply will not read what I write. I have found when I do read I then try too hard to write and my end product is forced.

The last sentence in the previous paragraph has my #1 thing I avoid. Above everything else I will never force something to be written. When I try hard to write I come up with nothing. My writing comes from within and if I force that area of my brain to work it takes a lunch break. It is when I let my mind go free into thought that I can just sit down and write without much effort. I have only struggled to write an article for my blog on one day. Just one day out of the 1 1/3 year have I sat at my desk and tried to come up with something. That day was early on and since then I have learned to let the back of my mind do the thinking for what to write.

Currently I am working on my 4th book and have been since October. I am taking my time with this one whereas my 3rd book was a mix of blog articles and chapters that are book only. I felt as if that was cheating in a way so my book chapters for the 4th book are for the book only. I write a little at a time and am averaging about 3 chapters a month. Book chapters are usually deeper and I want less story and more concepts to back up the stories so it takes longer. Also, concepts such as Kansas, or Cement Theory just happen without thought, but once in my mind it is like I have always known it without doubt.

So that's just some insight into my writing method. Next time anyone asks me this I hope I can remember writing this so I can say the right things and give the right answer instead of wanting to say, "with a keyboard."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. 8)

    I agree, there is a huge difference between a blog post and a story. My blogs just come and i type what i am thinking. But when i write, i will often make an outline and then just write free flow until i complete what i have outlined.

    It's good to read/hear how someone else does their writing.

    ~ john

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