Let me start by saying I am only talking about fiction here, my motivation for writing this blog and other non-fiction is different. Right now I want to talk about the reasons, the real ones, I write fiction.
Do you remember your last first kiss? Remember that feeling that for days afterwords that you could recall so easily. It’s like that when I am in my writing. My characters can become so real to me that I find myself recalling them with almost the same excitement as those kisses. For me the stories I write come to me fully, I know the beginnings and ends I know a lot of what happens in the middle. Still as I write them they unfurl and I get sucked into new details, deeper into characters and places. When the writing is going good I never want to stop.
I write long hand on yellow pads of paper with black or blue pens, pens that flow smoothly so that my hand can keep up with my mind. I find joy in the blur of the pages passing by while put down on the yellow paper what closes resembles what I see and feel. I leave words out I could care less about spelling or grammar, I just need to get it out. My pages are covered with private symbols reminding me to change things later, use different words, choose tenses. They also have random notes of song names that inspire, words that sound good, and other thoughts that get stuck in my head and need to get written down to free my mind to go back to the story.
I prefer to write in busy coffee shops with wordless or foreign language music. The sort of coffee shop where it’s okay to stay there for four or five hours and totally loose yourself. Then there is the tea (and occasionally beer). For all my love of coffee I need either earl grey or jasmine tea to truly enter my writing. Between the music and the tea I create barrier to the outside where I can enter the world of my story. It really feels that way when it’s going well, I loose myself into the story, and this is the real reason that I write. Lets face it writing is addictive, making worlds and people following their lives unfold is like drinking a bottle of wine, the same wonderful hum throughout your mind and body. WHile I hope other people will read what I write someday part of me doesn’t care because it is the act of writing that I love so much (I’m not even going to start in on editing you’ll really think I’m a geek).
There is the other side to that first kiss. When you write there is always the opportunity to have another first kiss, or at least write one.
There is another part of writing as important and heady. It is the long walks where my mind turns the story over in my head looking for the best pieces, the right words, the right scenes. In my mind I have written so many that have never made it onto paper, they don’t fit or are unneeded within the flow, still they exist as memories for my characters, and me. They are the bits that give me direction even if they were their own tangents. So these walks, which I find best in Autumn or Winter, pull me through. They let me see the story, the tales within the tale. This is when I “write” a thousand first kisses even if none never make it to the yellow pad of paper.