“To destroy is always the first step in any creation.”– e.e. cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962)
Writer’s Relief asks: what is your first step?
First, this man’s genius in the poetry flow department has always left me a little spellbound if not flustered. It takes patience and a clear head to truly grasp the words — two things I lack, two things I don’t, patience be flustered, flustered be patient, laugh, up, cry, rain 😉
Like all great poetry I had to read, memorize, and recite as a child, a majority of it remains only in one-liner’s or perhaps a single stanza but not much more, if at all.
Yet reading a single line from a work I’d read decades ago will magically bring it all back with startling clarity . . .
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her
So, how do I start the writing process? Saying I just do it isn’t a fun answer but there it is. More of my time is spent thinking rather than doing. At the moment there are a total of five novels in my head, and they all want out, too.
After publishing my first novel, I thought I was finally free to move on. Toward the end of that last edit and while spending two days formatting, I was anxious to get at that next novel. Anxious enough to want to stop formatting, stop searching for last-second errors, and just get on with it.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, although I wouldn’t be surprised to find still more accidents in my published work.
After all that anticipatory excitement and anxious feeling, an entire two days passed without my having typed a single new word.
Then I sat down and started to write. I churned out two chapters in a few hours and felt good, but then I stopped. A bad sign for me, because what I did was get out of my head the current thoughts roaming around there. A story still in its infancy and not quite ripe enough for picking . . . just yet.
These types of thoughts need time to grow and develop before I can actually set about turning them into a full-fledged novel worthy of publication (much less my time and effort).
It is shelved with a working title No.4 — the fourth infancy manuscript with a few chapters in them, tossed around character names and some personality traits in note form. Which is really what these types of works are: note-taking endeavors.
The real manuscript (and there are three) turns into a coin toss. An eenie-meenie-miney-moe thing. Other times I’m raring to get at one in particular, but not always.
I need to want to write the story in order to be able to write, and sometimes that isn’t as easy as some might think. Or, maybe I like the idea of thinking about writing more than I do the act of writing 😀
On a daily basis, I awaken much earlier now — eightish instead of tenish — and spend approximately 4 hours reworking the prior posts or searching for information on new posts for my website job.
Then I spend another few hours goofing off on Facebook (I have two profiles, one for games and one for writing).
From there, I open a Word document and turn on my music before staring at the screen for a few more hours.
Often, I’ll leave this den and go read a few chapters of a romance novel inside my room, and then come back to the laptop to stare at the blank screen again — or go back to Facebook and wile away more minutes with a bingo game or to hunt for Pinterest posts.
I’ve tried to write without music playing in the background, but it’s no use. I’ve actually found that by turning the music on a few hours prior to actually writing that I’m more apt to actually write!
Sigur Ros, Lemongrass, Groove Salad (on a good day), and all the rest of my ambient beats are what help put me in a writing mood and make me type words. The answer is music followed by a solid story line well developed inside my head. These are what I require in order to start myself on my next manuscript.