There are many approaches to writing. Virginia Woolf took long walks and composed passages of text in her head. She must have had a fantastic memory, though she depended on quiet to get things done. Zelda Fitzgerld wrote her only novel in a sanatorium while recovering from a breakdown. Although the quiet and free time undoubtedly helped, writing about the disintegration of her marriage must have been cathartic and helped her recovery. I saw Phillip Pullman interviewed once and he aims to write 3 pages every day which I guess gives you a draft in about 3 months. The NaNoWriMo crowd work to a strict 50,000 words in 30 day deadline:
When I started this I thought all the styles were different but I am seeing a theme – whether busy or isolated or competitive all the writers are writing consistently with no gaps. There is no time off from writing. It could be an accident of the examples I have chosen but all of them write continuously. Perhaps this is what I need to do if I ever hope to carry an idea through to conclusion. If only I had discipline…
To be frank I am impressed I have lasted this long blogging. It’s a lot easier as I really just sit here talking to myself, but equally as no one reads it there is no obligation for me to keep writing. If I didn’t have the kind of job that gives me a certain amount of freedom I probably wouldn’t do it. I never blog from home but that’s because I don’t have my own computer and I don’t want to be discovered. If someone I know should find this by their own searching and figure out it’s me then good for them, they win a cookie, but I will not lead anyone here on purpose.
So why am I a fail writer? What happened to my capacity for discipline? Even when I have to write things for work I trick myself into doing it by flicking between the text and various websites, I can’t bring myself to read through the piece as a whole – not through any sense of angst, I just can’t get my eyes to focus on it. I think that multiplied by 100 that would be what ADD feels like. So why am I not interested in things I am writing for myself? I get excited about them when I first think of them but then I abandom them utterly like babies in skips.
If I did find the cause of my failings, the root flaw in my psyche (retch, emo-much) would knowing it mean I had control over it? Really shoddy comparison but: I know that if my partner flirts with someone it is meaningless, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to put lit matches into the other person’s clothes until they go away. Not doing that is a pretense of control: changing the action does not change the emotion. This is probably why I am so often surprised by my emotional responses to things; I am so busy not being silly that I don’t recognise an emotional response as justified.
Saying all this gumph about emotions though: I find it easiest to write/art (art is a verb) when in a low mood. It’s like the negativity can channel creativity. Which sucks because I enjoy being a good mood.