Today I love writing.
But...how do YOU write? I mean...not..."Do you use a notebook or a keyboard?"
HOW do YOU write?
I am always curious about how other people get this job done. I had a tough encounter with a student who got caught plagiarizing this past week, and one of the comments made in the conversation that ensued was, "I just didn't think my writing was any good."
How do any of us know our writing is any good?
How do we even get the first word down?
The Words of the Week in our classroom this week were a quote that I blatantly borrowed from the folks here at Two Writing Teachers, who are sponsoring this 31 Day Slice of Life Writing Challenge, as I was preparing a few weeks ago. Little did I know how much impact they would have this week.
"This is how you do it:
you sit down at the keyboard
and you put one word
until it's done.
It's that easy,
and that hard."
I told my student that I understood the feelings of inadequacy. I have been at this EVERY day writing thing for over 600 days now, and yeah...sometimes it is tough. Sometimes what you write comes out, well, pretty rough. But some days treasure comes out as well. And until you sit down and write it, you don't know which it will be. And sometimes even AFTER you write it you don't know what it IS, until you get brave enough to show it to someone...someone you trust. That's one of the biggest things this Challenge has taught me...that when I am brave enough to show someone else my work, I can find out not only what I am doing well, but what I may need to work on. This is a safe community and the folks here are ones that I trust...even though I don't know them. The fact that they are here and they are writing AND they are being brave enough to share their work as well puts them right in the same boat as me! Fellows in a ship!
So, back to my original question...HOW do you write? I know others are talking about this today, because one of the advantages of coming late to the party this evening is seeing what others are "wearing".
For some, it is a quiet, all alone time that they have intentionally carved out and protected.
For others, perhaps it is something completely different.
For me, I write in my head all day long. It starts in the shower in the morning...sometimes even before as my feet hit the floor and my toes search for my slippers in the dark. The thoughts begin to swirl and sift and sort themselves out. Thank goodness for that process, because some pretty CRAZY ideas sift through on some days!
By the evening, or sometimes sooner, depending on how the Spirit moves on a particular day, I have percolated and stewed on whatever thought has bubbled to the top and I am ready to sit down at the keyboard.
I wish I could say I was one of those people who have a wonderfully organized Writer's Notebook full of lists of story ideas and sketches of thoughts.
I am not. Nor will I ever be a wonderfully organized anything.
But, when I do finally hit the keyboard...such as now...my fingers fairly fly...then they hover...I twist and turn in my chair...I stretch my arms over my head...I call The Man for an outside point of view...then I make him go away...then I call him back, poor fellow, because I covet his "Well done" more than he will ever know...and eventually...I get brave...and then read it one more time just to be sure....and then I read it one MORE time because I am incredibly prideful when it comes to typos...and then...finally....I hold my breath...literally...and hit that dreaded orange "publish" button.
But I am very curious about how it works for other people. I sincerely hope that this post generates some conversation....from my students too if they are reading after this long of a ramble...because I really would love to know...
How do you write?