Original photo from Pixabay I sit down. I open my laptop. I rest my fingers on the keyboard’s home row. And I begin. Really, ...

How I Write

Original photo from Pixabay

I sit down. I open my laptop. I rest my fingers on the keyboard’s home row.

And I begin.

Really, it just sort of happens. I have half an idea and no real plan; whether it’s a school project or a blog post or a novel, I just sit and I start and my fingers fly. Sure, it’s awful the first time around, but it’s a release and it’s a start and I know I can improve it later. I’ve got a basis, at least, a skeletal art to be fleshed out and dressed up into something snazzy.

Normally, there’s music playing. It can be any kind. At the time of this post’s first draft, it is Morning Passages by Philip Glass. Lovely piano piece; the video I’m watching has flickering, glowing flowers drifting past on the screen every time I turn my head to glance at my phone. Whatever plays, it’s always something inspiring: rock-hard, or rap-fast, or pop-free. It’s something that moves my mind and moves my brain, makes me think, makes me hope, makes me wonder. And those three together (the things that make me think, hope, and wonder), I think those are the reasons why I write in the first place.

When the first draft is finished, I step back. I wait. I let the project brew and mull it over in the back of mind. I wait at least 24 hours before I come back to it, but sometimes it can be as much as 24 days or 24 weeks; frankly, some projects are 24 months and counting, though I’ve yet to make it to 24 years. ;)

I always come back though. I must. If I spent long enough on it to create it, I will spend long enough on it to perfect it.

The big edits come first: I read through the whole project, calming my inner cringe with a bold over the problem and a note on the side: I’ll fix it later. Smooth this sentence. Make that clearer. What is even happening here? Figure it out. The first half of big edits is just a readthrough to see what needs to be fixed. To get an honest examination on my work and figure out what I need to do next.

The second half of big edits is the actual editing: I systematically and chronologically go through each bold, read the note, and fix the problem. To the best of my ability, just fix it. The full smoothing and perfect polishing will come later, but for now, I unbreak whatever’s broken and plan to improve on the issue later.

When that’s over, I do small edits. All the major problems are fixed, but there are still a few minor errors; complex grammar or clunky sentences that must be reworked, rearranged, and rewritten. I also call this the smoothing edit. All the rougher edges sanded down and evened out until the work is smooth all around.

Then I polish. Scrub that surface till it shines. Analyze that analogy. Is it really the right word? Read it out loud. Does it roll off my tongue? Envision the emotion. Does it sound like me? Because I’m a perfectionist, the polishing edit may happen two or three or more times before I finally declare the project done.

When it is perfect—or as close to perfect as I can make it or I run out of time—I post the work. Or I send it to my professor or to a would-be agent or publisher. Wherever it is that this work is destined, to there it goes. My little baby writing makes its way into the world.

Then I celebrate. I rest. If it was a big project, I watch YouTube videos and read books and eat ice cream and chocolate.

And then, I return to a blank Word document and start all over again.

For that is how I write. :)
***
How about you? Do you have a certain method for writing? A different style for different projects? I’d love to know your secrets, haha. Can’t wait to hear from you, and I’ll see you in the comment section!



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6 comments:

  1. This is so similar to how I write! Though with some of my first novels I have to do whole rewrites ;D

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    1. Oh, cool!! And yeah, I've had to do that a few times. :p It's not fun at the time, but at least I know the book was better for it.

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  2. I love posts like these, I'm always curious about everyone's process. I might have to do one of my own of these.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed! And totally do that; I'd love to see it!

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  3. This post was so wonderfully entertaining to read! I've always been extremely interested in how people get from point A to point B. How a rough thing is made, where from inside someone it comes, and how it's smoothed and polished and made all shiny and new. It's so different for each person!
    So I think it's safe to say this post is right up my alley. XD
    Plus the way you actually wrote it:!!!! Really like your writing style; there's a rhythm and reason to your words. It's incredible.
    Look forward to reading more process posts.

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    1. Aw, thank you! Yeah, it's so fascinating to see how different people process and come up with their stories. We're all so beautifully different, yet at the same time, we can have so many similarities, and it's just interesting to discover. :)

      Yay, I'm glad! And thank you!! <3 I appreciate that.

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