Where Do You Draft Your Words?

The Shining’s Writer’s Block Scene is the Most Realistic One I’ve Seen on the Screen.

Did you ever notice how, on TV or in the movies, when they want to show the difficulties of writing, they have people sitting in front of a  typewriter tossing off crumpled pieces of paper into (or near) the garbage?

Real writing isn’t like that. First off, we use computers now, so the visual of trying to write is much less dramatic…just a cursor key going forward and backward.

More importantly, I’m not convinced that actual writing takes place in front of the computer. Yeah, I mean, that’s where the words show up, and you are technically writing — but the thoughts that make up the writing — where do they come from?

Writing, I think, it thinking. It’s not a math equation where one plus equals two, or a scientific experiment where you sit down and all the components. Writing is having room to breathe, having space to ponder, on walks, in bed in the middle of the night, on a desert island, waiting in line for the supermarket.

Increasingly, with social media time wasting — Facebook, Twitter, The NEWS — I find it gets done less and less when I’m sitting here in front of my computer.

Yes, I type. But the germs of the ideas occurred in a different place.

Then, the actual writing, the drafting, the crafting, the rewriting, the tweaking — that all happens here.

But everything that happens before is where the real writing takes place.

Author: Amy Klein

Amy Klein is the author of "The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind," (Ballantine, 2020) based on her New York Times "Fertility Diary" column. Her writing on health, science, reproduction and essays has also appeared in Slate, Salon, The Washington Post, Aeon and more.