Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What gets you writing?

I was catching up with the Saturday Guardian Review article on authors and writing.

When I started out I used to pore over how writers organised themselves and created their work.  Of course this was more about business writing, but to a certain extent I did it for fiction also.  The longer I write though for both types of writing, the more I think, it is necessary to create your own routines and aids.

Yesterday I caught a segment of the interview with Charlie HIgson on Radio 3 breakfast programme talking about favourite music and one of his comments about a piece he chose was that it was good music to write to.

That's part of what intrigued me about other writers.  Some writers need loud rock music and some ignore music completely.  For me it depends what I'm writing.  I can't have words in the background when I do first drafts but when I edit that's different.

So far from it mattering if you do one thing or another at any stage of the writing process, what really is important is that it helps not hinders.  Sit in your pyjamas or dress formally; stuff yourself with chocolate or be too involved to think of food.  Makes no odds if it works for you.

I was talking to a writer last week about how she writes and for her the most important thing is to be so excited she can't wait to start.  As long as that state of mind is present then she's away.

I agree with her about needing to be involved because if you aren't there heart and soul 10 words seems like a penance.  On another day 2,000 flow as if by magic. 

And there's always that primeval fear that if you analyse what you do then it might not happen next time.  NLP practitioners wouldn't agree.  But if we view the process of writing as mysterious then maybe we should leave the analysis alone.

How does it work for you?

1 comment:

  1. I got into the habit of playing music while I worked at home to block out my parents and the blaring TV. I still find I prefer to have music on when I write but I can no longer work over singing so I tend to stick with soundtracks and orchestral music. Quite often I find myself sitting there in silence and realise that the music has stopped but goodness knows how long I might have been like that. I don't have a favourite composer of anything in fact it's often best to play something I've never heard before.