My best writing has happened either at my desk in my room, on the floor of my room, at a library, or even during a class lecture; whenever I feel I have something good to write down, I take that opportunity no matter what conventional setting I may be in. However, I don’t ever plan to write in a socially public area like a coffee shop, bookstore, or cafeteria; not since I’ve seen that episode of Family Guy that included the cut away gag about writers writing in public just to be seen writing. In all honesty, I believe it to be a bit true because, as a writer, to whom are you really trying to convince your profession to? If you’re a writer, you write no matter how many eyes are on you. I have at times planned on just writing at the university library mainly because of a simple change of scenery; I could care less who could really be there.
I do my best writing at night; it’s just something about those vampire hours that I really can’t explain. There just seems so much to do during the day, but things begin to slow up or shut down at night and I’m able to take my time to actually enjoy what I’m working on. Inspiration for the things I write about can come from a number of various sources, but I usually extract ideas from personal experiences. A close friend of mine explains that she writes from experience, but changes the perspective to a different character. Back in undergrad, the inspiration to write was fairly simple; you wanted a decent grade.
It may sound strange, but my best ideas occur when I’m either in the shower, or trying to fall asleep. Lately, sleep itself has bestowed ideas upon me. I’ve come up with three successful loglines, I think, based from dreams I’ve had. And, when I first started writing poetry and prose, ideas would come from songs I would happen to hear. It’s the reason why I don’t believe in writing everything in one sitting unless, of course, your deadline is the next day. Writer Graham Green explained during an interview that, “…about an hour and a half. That’s all I can manage. One may come back in the evening after a good dinner, one’s had a good drink, one may add a few little bits and pieces.”
To me, you just never know what you could experience in the meantime that could give you ideas and take your story from good to extraordinary.
A pencil and a college ruled notebook are the only physical items I need in order to write. A desk would convenient, but not entirely necessary; I can stretch out on the floor and begin jotting words on paper. I don’t need background noise or ambiance such as the TV, music, or a candlelight vigil though I have written amongst these things minus the candlelight vigil. I rarely even begin with the structure of what I’m writing about, much like writer Michael Lewis, “I'll write something, but it won't be the beginning or the middle or the end -- I'm just getting an idea out on the page. Then, as the words accumulate, I start thinking about how they need to be organized.”
Since I’ve starting writing regularly, I haven’t really made any notable changes in my life in order to make time and space for it. There are just some things I wouldn’t do. I won’t plan on writing if I know I’m about to have people or friends visiting. I won’t plan on writing if I know most of my day is already dedicated towards something else. If an idea happens to cross my mind on a day like that, I simply make a note of it via text message and retrieve it later. The main challenge that holds me back from writing is procrastination and the one thing that will clear that challenge is a deadline. A Successful Writing article stated that writers “work best under deadline; if necessary, they even set their own deadlines.” But, this is the ridiculous part; I would often procrastinate as late as I could towards my deadline. It would usually happen if I were writing about something I had no interest in; an example would be about 80% of my undergrad papers. A piece that I would have a genuine interest is most likely written on my own time without a deadline.
Landay, William. “How Writers Write: Graham Green.” William Landay. (2009).
Thangavel, Ravi. “How Do Writers Write? : Successful Writing.” English for Students.