First, it’s a feeling. Then the ideas come, maybe fully-formed, or maybe in pieces, sliding ghost-like into your head and playing in front of the walls of your mind for awhile before disappearing again. You watch them, or listen to them, or watch and listen to them, thinking about how to turn them into words. Sitting at a desk chair with one knee drawn up to your chin, staring ahead at the blank document on the computer screen, waiting until you’re sure you’ve got it before finally beginning to type.
Or maybe it’s a daily practice. Sitting down at a computer or typewriter or at a table with a stack of paper and a cup full of sharpened pencils. Carving the words out of the raw blocks of space into something recognizable and — you hope — real.
Perhaps it’s a series of stolen secret moments, notes hastily scribbled on desk calendars, scraps of paper, napkins, matchbooks, the back of your hand. The images and lines come at the strangest times, and you’ve learned from experience that you’d better write them down when they show up, because it’s no good, trusting your memory to keep them for you to write when it’s convenient.
Could be it’s like this, or maybe it’s entirely different, but each of us go about writing in our own ways. How do you do it? Longhand or typed? Late at night or early in the morning (or whenever you have time)? Do you write every day or just when the mood or need strikes you? Do you have any rituals for writing? Lucky writing shirt (or pants or socks or whatever) or do you write naked? Do you know what you’re going to write before you start or do you start writing and hope your ideas catch up with you? Do you try your best to get everything down in one go or do you write in fits and stops? Do you edit when you’re done or as you go along (or not at all)?
We talk a lot about books and what’s going on with literature, and we talk some about different aspects of being a writer. But being a writer happens differently for each of us. How do you create? What’s your process?