Evolution

How, when, and where we write evolves, sometimes.

When I first began writing seriously, I could only write at a computer, and preferably only on my own laptop. The mere prospect of writing more than a paragraph by hand filled me with dismay. Part of this was laziness of course, but part was an early child-hood aversion. When I was quite young, I attempted to write a novel in emulation of my favorite writers. I was only 7 or 8 at the time, so I had no computer, merely a pencil and a notebook, big dreams and not much patience. Naturally, I only got a few pages in before I realized it was a lot of work to write by hand, and I wasn’t very good at it so why bother when I could just read a story already written?

Just lately, I’ve been writing in notebooks more. I find a clean piece of paper gets the creative juices flowing, and the process of transferring it from paper to computer affords a painless opportunity to edit and revise. Different pens, different notebooks, they all help. I still don’t attempt to write entire novels this way, but short stories are flowing onto paper first. Certain chapters of the newest novel attempt are also flowing (or more accurately stuttering) onto paper.

Besides a change from strict computer writing to pen-and-paper drafts, I have also found a change in when and for how long I write. Before, I tended to write in long stretches. Once I got into the swing of creation, I wouldn’t stop for fear of stemming the flow of the muse. However, the structure of my life has changed rather dramatically in the past year. Perhaps you may have heard, I have a small child now. He’s the delight of my life, but he leaves me rather less time for anything, including cleaning and domestic chores. So, I have to fit them in around his schedule, and that applies to writing as well. It took me some time to figure it out, but now I write when I get the chance, even if it’s only enough time to jot down a few sentences or a single paragraph.

Many people resist changes to their creative routines. I understand the hesitation, perhaps even fear, of changing. If something has always worked, especially with such a temperamental task as writing, one is reluctant to risk incurring further difficulties by changing one’s methods. Sometimes, a change is as good as a rest however. Cliched, yes, but true. Embracing and capitalizing on changes is important in life. Writing is a reflection of life, so it stands to reason the same applies to our creative routines.


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