Aaron had asked me a pretty straightforward question about my writing process, and it wasn’t until I really thought about it that I came to a pretty startling conclusion: I don’t have one. I mean, there are some similarities in my writing sessions – they’re almost entirely in my office, I don’t have a TV on when I write (anymore), and I use both hands when I type. That’s about it.
In the olden days where I didn’t have my own home office, I used to have a TV on. I always told myself, “If I know what’s happening on the TV, then I’m not paying attention to my writing.” This was true enough, and if I was in the zone, it didn’t matter if I had a burlesque donkey laser show in my room, I’d be paying attention to my writing alone. But why set yourself up for failure? Nowadays, I allow myself music, because almost everything I do is underscored by some tunes, but usually a playlist of mellow music, often instrumentals. It isn’t a detriment to my writing, and that’s key. I also try to set myself up with a Mountain Dew, but unfortunately in my older, wiser years, I know that drinking it as often as I’d like will result in premature disembowelment.
I don’t force myself to write for a certain time. When I did, it’s not like I’d be stuck and frustrated, but I’d churn out an awful lot of unreadable pages. So I write when I at least have a few ideas floating around, and but rarely with more than that. I seldom have even an idea where I want to end up in my stories, which is part of the fun. But I’ve found historically that I write BEST with deadlines and restrictions (I was once challenged to write and submit a play for a contest in two days that had to revolve around an animal, and produced one of my favorite plays ever Deadline. In fact, that version there is almost the exact thing I’d written in those two days, without many edits. That’s another reason this project seemed so fun – the speed.
I’m sure to write more on this topic later, but right now, everyone’s favorite new segment, Space Debris:
– I’m terrible at naming things. It’s always been my Achilles heel. Most of my most familiar works (Unusual Suspects, Everyguy) were named by other people. In fact, my nickname Esoderek was created by someone else (thanks Aaron!). So I still don’t have a title for my January story.
– Speaking of it, after I’d written it based on my cathartic moment, I sat away. Just thinking about what I’d written over the next few days, I felt disappointed, like the idea was cooler in my head than what I’d put down. I finally reread it this week while battling a stomach illness, and found I enjoyed it as much as I had hoped. Let’s hope it translates to other people.
– I’m going to be putting up a link at the month’s end to submit requests for copies of the “complete” short story each month. That way, I’m not risking putting it up online (though legally I’d be pretty safe to do so), but I’m still not having people read my progress here and not be able to see the results. Bye bye viewers (both of you).
– Aaron has mange.
– Oh, if you are reading this, comment on it. What do you want to see more of? What do you like/not like about the project? Or suggest monthly topics. While we’ll be coming up with our own topics for now, I don’t imagine either of us would outright reject suggestions of story topics from outside sources.