It’s a big deal to be a Deb, and here I am, confessing right out of the gate. Well, that’s the point, right? To share the scoop, offer insights, challenge some conventional notions perhaps, and all the while, keep dancing. What does that mean to me? It means I tell you where most of my early writing REALLY gets done.
I have desks, sofas, chairs, beds, a patio, and a dining room table, where I’m sitting now. All of these are perfectly wonderful places for writing, wouldn’t you agree? But my early writing — before the editing and revising and rethinking — all gets done in one place.
Inside my head.
Frightening, I know. The magic of storytelling makes my head a very noisy place to be, which is why I prefer quiet when I’m working. I view the computer, or a piece of paper, as simply the place I store my words in order to make room for more inside. Quips and (hopefully) eloquent phrases, all form off the page and getting them down is so that I don’t forget — and later share.
Everything changes when I’m editing or revising, that’s a meticulous process that requires a desk and ergonomic chair. But the early writing part is not neat, and it’s not quiet, it’s a raucous affair and it all happens within the confines of my brain. I say things aloud — how can I not? People talk out loud and I have to hear the inflection in a character’s voice. The sentences come fully formed, often when I’m driving or in the shower or in the most inconvenient spot to make note of them. But I do, because if I don’t, I’ll spend all my time and energy repeating it — blocking the flow like a dam holds back a river. And you know what happens when you open a dam.
Surely there are times that I hunker down on the couch of choice, with a blanket, coasters, beverages, and pens without something specific in mind. But when the words do come, I’m often thinking first and typing later. Only in the midst of the depths of a scene do I close my eyes and just type because it’s bigger than me, and I’m not really in charge. And yes, these are the kinds of revelations that alarm my non-writing friends, but to other writers, it seems normal — either some of it or all of it.
Scary, but true.
Dare to share! How much of your writing gets done inside your head?