Monday, April 14, 2008

My Writing Process

Over at Murderati, Pari Noskin Taichert writes about her new Eee PC. She sums up the reason why she bought the mini PC: "In short, I want it to strip me of excuses."

We writers have tons of reasons why NOT to write when we know, intellectually, we need to do so. I treat my writing as the thing it really is: A Job. Sure, I have a day job (technical writer) but I want my storytelling to be my day job one day. As such, I'm getting myself in the habit of writing my stories on a regular basis. Many published authors make the point that if you always wait for the muse, you'll never be a writer. A writer is someone who sets aside time, writes, and works at it. That's what I try to do every day. I don't always succeed because, at this point, my storytelling is not paying the bills.

Ms. Taichert poses the following questions:

What writing tools do you use: big computer, laptop, pen & paper, charcoal & papyrus?
How do you relate to them?
Have you ever bought an instrument that opened your mind, eased the process?
Have you ever experienced the opposite effect?

Here is my response:
Two manuscripts into my storytelling career (I'm currently a tech writer), I am comfortable writing on the laptop as well as pen-and-ink. My main method of writing is my MacBook Pro 15-in. laptop. I use a USB key and keep my books and stories on it. This way, I can go from my office laptop (writing at lunch) to my home Mac and work anywhere. On vacations, I do *not* take my laptop. I take a comp book and pens. I find the scratch of the pen on paper and the slower pace to be calming. Yes, there are times when the ideas are flowing and I long for the speed of typing. However, when I'm stuck, I'll turn off the laptop, pick up the pen, and write longhand. It's quite conducive to getting around a roadblock. I also have MacSpeech Dictate, a speech recognition program. It's about 92% accurate. I enjoy sitting at my laptop, eyes closed, and dictating into the machine. Yes, I have to say words like "Comma, Period, Open Quotes" but it's nice to save my fingers and wrists. What's also nice is that I can dictate my longhand writing into the machine without having to type it in. I am hopeful that Dictate will allow me to increase the speed of my writing.

Now, to y'all, how about it? How do y'all write?

No comments: