Clean Sheet or Ruled?
As a writer, I am very interested in the writing process, not just my own, but also fellow writers. What must you have in YOUR writing space in order to write? Do you listen to music or do you need total silence? Can you write when the kids are afoot, or do you have to be alone? Do you write freehand, or do you need to place your fingers to a keyboard in order to get those thoughts out of your head?
Every writer has a quirky method. Recently, I interviewed documentary filmmaker Byron Hurt about his upcoming film “Soul Food Junkies” (an important documentary about soul food and its impact on African American health. Check out my full Q&A with him here page 20). At the conclusion of our interview, I asked him about his writing process. He shared that he must be in a clutter-free environment in order to be creative.
So, what’s my quirk, and what helps me to write, you may (or may not) be asking yourself? Well, to answer your question, I’m not too particular. I can write when the kids are around, or not. I can write at the break of dawn, or in the midnight hour. I jot ideas in the car, at the grocery store or doctor’s office, or even while cooking. But, when I sit down to get into the nitty-gritty of writing, there are three things I either do, or must have in order to “get it done”.
I write freehand on clean sheets of paper. For me, ruled paper creates boundaries to my writing process, so, I use copy paper to create, especially when I begin projects. It helps me to remain focused and on task. If you look in my writing space right now, you will see packages of copy paper stacked along the wall, some beneath my kids’ toys, but that’s a totally different blog I’ve written about creating YOUR writing space…(read that here).
Trace Over Words
For some reason, I’ve adopted a habit of tracing over words I’ve written. I believe I do this whenever I’m thinking of the next thing to write. When I look back over all of my freehand writing drafts, I see tons of traced-over words on the page. Sound weird? Yep, I know it does.
I don’t admit this often, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist at heart. So, when I mess up, don’t care for the way my handwriting looks, or I’ve written something I don’t like, I grab another piece of paper and re-write everything. Part of me tends to think doing so has led me down Procrastination Road (which I will discuss in an upcoming blog), but re-writing is part of my process.
So, what about you? I’m interested in what odd little things keep your creative juices flowing. Share them with me here.