When people ask me what I do for fun, it takes an enormous amount of willpower not to gush about my writing. I’ve loved writing since the age of six and I have written dozens of stories and poems and worked on an original novel series. What started off as a therapeutic release became one of my greatest passions.
Every writer is different in how they approach their craft. Now, I would say that my writing process can be summed up in one word: eccentric. Armed with a giant mug with a sarcastic slogan printed on the side and topped off with peppermint hot chocolate, I sink into a cushy, royal blue bean bag. About four customized playlists await my selection across a variety of streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Youtube. My laptop is open to a blank document, waiting to be written. Within my reach is a pile of colored notebooks teeming with a mix of messy cursive and neat printing.
Every idea of mine starts with handwritten notes, whether I am working on a fantasy novel or an English project or an article for TWE. Different color pen mark up the page and a small legend sit in the top right-hand corner denoting what each color means. I find that this type of organized structure to writing ensures that good ideas aren’t lost when I step away from my writing. Having the affinity for being easily distracted makes retaining ideas much easier. Using this color-coded, regimented system is a way to keep me focused on what the important basic elements are such as plot, characters, important details and events, among other aspects of story-telling. I would highly suggest having an organized system of some sort and it can range from having a small notebook with diligent notes to a full-out binder with various tabs, extra paper, and an extensive color-coded system like I have. There is no need to make a complex system that becomes cumbersome; it only needs to work for you.
One of the most important processes for writing, especially creative writing, is world building and lore. I consider my greatest strength as a writer to be in the realm of making characters and worlds that feel authentic to the story I want to tell. One suggestion for that is to step out of the box and explore the world. When writing characters with experiences I know little to nothing about, I seek out people who do have the knowledge and have them teach me about different aspects of life. Being a writer is my way to explore the world around me and open my eyes to things I never considered before. Writing has such a profound experience and changed my perspective about life more times than I can reasonably recall.
When it comes to building upon ideas, the main thing I would suggest is discipline and utilize your drive to write when you have it. Muses can be fleeting and when it disappears, it makes it difficult to sit down and write. When you are struggling to write a piece, take a step away from it and return to it at another point in time. You will often find that a mental break does wonders for creativity. When I take breaks like that, I usually listen to music and those moments of reflection often lead to the breakthrough I need.
Writing is also a time-consuming process and it is what you put into it. I run through more notebooks due to writing than my schoolwork, and that’s saying something. Some people joke that I put a little too much effort into my writing, but I disagree. When you love something the way I love writing, you really can’t limit how much you put into it.
I pour my entire being into writing. Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Writers understand that their craft is a product of the stardust scattered through their souls and the brilliance of their mind. Their writing is just as much a part of them as their physical body. I believe that my writing gives outsiders a glimpse into my soul.
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