Step One: Put the Kettle ON!!!√ This is for the needed Prince of Wales blend
Okay, so I commented on a blog post by one of my favourite people and she responded by wanting to know more of my writing process. Be careful what you wish for Rebecca Todd, for here it is. Writing starts with an idea, suggestion, subject, inspiration or whatever you call it. I have many inspirations to write, such as Rebecca’s request, and ideas come from various current events, what media I’m experiencing, even from other things I’m writing. Having Attention Deficit Disorder sometimes allows things that are unconnected to most people to fit together in my head and I’m compelled to write them. Some of the best ideas are from outside my comfort zone and are outside the field that I’m actually going to write about. Brian Eno explains where creativity comes from better than me though:
Rebecca’s post was about the audience a person writes for, I normally don’t really over think that part of it. There are a few cases where I write with a specific group of people in my subconscious but I find to focus on the audience gives me anxiety like when I’m actually talking to people. At times I’m trying to stir things up with my writing, like a few of my recent blogs. My unsolicited advice on the audience front is to be patient, embrace rejection or criticism and keep things readable. Yesterday’s blog post got more hits today, my work’s been rejected since the mid Nineties and I’ve the letters to prove it, and this is good advice for all writers. Ultimately the writer has no control on who will read the work, that is the reader’s choice.
Once the ideas start flowing I normally use whiteboards, iPod notes, scrap paper, or NeoOffice documents to keep them tracked. I then slowly do a rough outline that occasionally gets followed. Recent events in Ukraine and Crimea actually forced me to change the outline of the current novel I should be working on. That change might end up with a better novel, or would if I wasn’t outlining, making notes et cetera on at least three other projects including; a steampunk/fantasy series, a potential comic book universe, a SciFi spaceship series or single book, and this military theory project I’ve no idea where it is taking me or what to call it.
Here I have to confess that I most likely have the Ontario record for failed attempts at passing Grade 11 English, that and I just spent most of the last hour rewatching a Blackadder documentary because I thought there was something useful about editing in it. I also was Saltfleet High Schools worst typist. My spelling, grammar and lack of detail have been mentioned to me in the past. I don’t really understand the rules of writing and trying to learn them always makes my head hurt. Frederick the Great of Prussia uses the term Coup D’Oeil in reference to developing an instinct for terrain, I find I have something similar with writing, it’s mostly instinct. When I write I tend to just write, when I edit I get the overwhelming urge to delete everything I’ve ever written and stick my head in a bucket of piranhas.
Being ADD has me fidget, wander, make tea…good idea!!!…and take multiple breaks while writing. I have music on while I write as it actually helps with keeping distractions away, especially those inside my head, it also on occasion helps unblock the writing. Other distractions can be more difficult but sometimes reading, watching a movie/TV, or playing games can recharge the focus. I do love it though when I hyperfocus while writing and end up with a few thousand words in a session, it’s my crack. However, when I do hyperfocus though I forget to eat and need a bit of recovery time, food, wine and relaxation.
Here’s a clip from my favourite movie.
So, now you know why my socks are inside out.