Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Method to madness: forget your surroundings

I know some people that can only write at certain places, under certain conditions, after doing certain rituals. This works for them and I’m happy for them.

I wrote Only Human at fast food restaurants, during lunchtime, in the bathtub, hidden in lounge rooms, drinking tea, in the morning, in the afternoon, late at night. I wrote it any time I could find the time because when the story took a hold of me, it didn’t let go and demanded to be written.

I’ve learned from that experience that when my hand is itchy and my mind is insisting on writing, it’s go time, regardless of where I am and who I’m with. Inspiration waits for no one and will leave you quite quickly.

I didn’t need lavish furnishings, a perfect notebook or a fancy pen... I just needed to write. As I was swept in the story, the restaurant faded, people’s voices were drowned out by music and I could see my characters waiting for me to urge them on in their story. They didn’t care the page had taco sauce stains, it didn’t matter if someone was talking about their relationships, nothing mattered... because nothing was there.

In my mind, I was only aware of the barest minimum and although at times some people interrupted me, many learned that when the pen was flying over a page, that was not the time to say hello. I honestly love the feeling of being taken over by a story and peeking out just long enough to get something to eat.

It’s creative meditation in the sense that you are not really on this plane, you are far away within the ink pools of your inner eye and you are building words and lives one letter at a time. People ask me why I write so often by hand... to me, the answer is simple. Typing is mechanical... clack-clack-clack... and still, when you’re inspired you look more like a pianist than a writer. The thing is, that with a pen... when things flow... when your thoughts start pouring out of you... your hand starts moving like waves and the ocean. The ebb and flow comes and goes, you are swept, you are delightfully delirious, you are swimming in the story and your third eye, streams to your single arm, to that single pen to capture that single story.

That’s because if you love writing enough, you don’t need a specific set of surroundings because you create them in your mind. 

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