I want to be someone who has a routine. I love the idea of having tidy piles, outlines and color coded folders. I would love to tell people that I write X number of words per day and as a result be able to calculate to the minute when I will finish my next project. I spend approximately the same amount on office supplies per year as it would cost me to finance a small insurgency in a tiny third world country. Many of these office supplies are purchased with the intent of becoming an organized and routine writer. So far this plan isn’t going so well. Maybe I should give up and move towards the insurgency and global domination option. I always fancied a flag with my face on it.
For me the formula for writing is complicated- you may need a calculator.
(time spent writing + daydreaming) – (time spent at work and doing sundry other chores + time spent dinking around doing nothing productive)+ the inspiration of reading a good book x desire to write = a book.
I write where and when I can fit it in. I don’t require special tools, space, a set time, character sheets or an outline. (a good pen is nice- but that is more about my office supply passion than anything else) For me, it takes an idea that itches and the only way to scratch is to start writing. I write because I enjoy it, even on the days when it is kicking my ass. There are a lot of ways to make money in the world, almost all of them easier than being a writer. If I didn’t like it, I would stop.
For me- creativity is messy. It is torn pages from a magazine, scribbled notes on an index card, or a few minutes stolen on my lunch break to write down a scene (or a blog post.) I may not be organized or have a routine, but I keep showing up and that counts for something. I do promise however, that should I ever become a tiny third world dictator to hire someone to organize me and our country. It is one thing to be a messy writer and another thing to misplace something like the military.
Are you a messy or organized writer?