For a while now, I’ve wanted to watch the habits of other writers. I’ve skulked in the corners of coffee shops and public libraries and watched as people wrote notes. I watched the process, the odd staccato of stops and starts. I admired the curled loops of an ancient verse, the winding script of foreign languages. And there have been things I’ve learned about writing that I should really write down. Here’s a little list.
- Disconnect. Disconnect from the Internet, from the rest of the world. Build yourself a cocoon of spidersilk and rest there for some time as the hive of voices in your head untangles its assault on your mind. Disconnect and let the pen roam on the piece of paper.
- Write. Not type, not text. But write. Take a piece of paper into your hands and feel the soft virgin page between your fingers. Simple enjoy the scent of ink, the scratch of your pen on something tangible. The ideas will escape in floods.
- For an hour in the morning, write to get rid of the garbage. The crusted up sleepdust of words that you’ve gathered together for your entire life. You know that you’re guilty of using some words over and over. Why not paint the story with a fresh colour?
- This doesn’t necessarily pertain to writing, but it’s something I like doing. Find out just one quirky fact about a culture other than your own. Even better, if that fact can be interwoven into the bodice of one of your stories and tied up within the plot, it’s something you’ll keep. Today, for example, I learned that some cultures cook food for their dead, and leave the food at the deceased’s gravesite. They place significance on the afterlife, and respect their ancestors even decades after the passing.
I just thought I might write these things down, as observations. As things-to-do. Notes to myself. If you (out there in the great beyond) get something out of it, that’s wonderful too.
We act like we are stars; like we are little suns, making our own light and heat and creating life for others. But, we aren’t even planets. Nothing revolves around us. We are moons. Tiny chunks of rock orbiting something bigger than us. Our main function: to reflect the light. That is what we are made for.