Aimee Bender once said, “As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake.”
Writing can be a frightening, distressing business, and whatever kind of structure or buffer is available can help a lot. For almost 12 years now, I've been faithful to the Harrow and its many plot twists and varied characters. I try to provide myself with structure, at least one hour a day and 500 words, for five or six days a week. I am sometimes most effective in the morning. I get up, sit down, check e-mail briefly, turn off my e-mail and Internet, look at the time on the computer, and begin. I hope to get in my 500 words before it is time to prepare and go to work.
Inspired by the highly regular routines of writers like Stephen King and Flannery O'Connor, and many more, I tried to tailor mine to my own idiosyncrasies. But alas, I am not a full-time writer. I am limited by the mere 24-hours in a day, a full-time job and family concerns. Yet, it is important to cleanse my mind, to dump my ideas if you will, onto paper, and thereby forward the process for but another day.
All writers require some form of structure, much like the idea of the cramped closet, is freeing, and for me, the more I can externalize the process, the easier it is to submit to it.
I love writing. Since I’m aesthetically challenged, writing is my only creative outlet. It feels great to finally have the confidence to get my words out on paper. To shape and polish them until they shine. To meet characters who I grow to love and hate. Writing is amazing.
Writing gives me such enormous pleasure, and I'm a much happier person when I'm doing it. There's a place in my head that I go to when I write and it's so rich and unexpected – and scary sometimes – but never ever dull. I first went there when I was young person and I wrote short stories and poetry which startled me a bit because it felt like someone else had written them. And, yet, I still retain the feeling. Sometimes when I review what I have written for the Harrow I will ask myself, Did I just write that? Wow!
Writing is a passion, however restrained, and it’s also a painful process, a misery that must be fed. For the words can never come quickly enough.