When I wrote Tetelestai and Joy Seekers near the end of March, I sent out an email to our e-newsletter subscribers (sign up below) talking about how I sat for sixteen hours writing one piece. It was obnoxious, and I don't recommend that "style" of writing to anyone, but it made me wonder: what ARE other people's styles?
So I asked. And I thought it would be fun to share some of the responses through the blog for those of you formulating your own creative process. If anyone has anything to add to the conversation, leave us a comment. Let's learn.
If there's anything I like to keep consistent about my writing, it's doing it by hand. Staring at a screen is intimidating and lifeless to me. I need to feel myself spreading out on a piece of paper. Whether it's an analytical essay for class or a short story, I like to feel like my words are jumping out of my hand. I like to cross things out, literally, and write arrows and asterisks and I like the way my hand smudges the words and the way there's ink left on the edge of my hand all day (I'm a lefty, I'm not sure of righty's have the same issue with smudging and residue). I know you said you're OCD, as am I, but for some reason seeing a scribbly page of thoughts and arrows makes me feel like I've written more, and like I'm more organized, then I'll rewrite the final, more polished, draft. That way, I have my stepping stones to look back on, and if there's a thought hidden somewhere within my first draft that I lost somewhere along the way, I just might find it again while reading through something that may have just gotten backspaced into oblivion if I had typed everything. I also try to listen to music, my thoughts get tangled in the silence. Something like Explosions in the Sky, Yndi Halda, Mono, or Godspeed - post rock, no lyrics kind of stuff, it seems to align my thoughts for me, makes my words flow.
Yeah, so that's my writing process, it's been a while since I've actually done it but that's how it usually goes down.
Peace + Love,
- Caramel Cianci
I will be honest I haven't quite figured out my process yet. What has worked so far is making an effort to expose myself to what I know inspires me to write and think in new ways but also go and do things that push me. When I am pushed outside of my normal level of comfort it tends to make my me see things I usually ignore or disregard in a new way. If I only do what I think will spark something it only kind of works, when I do that and add some adventure and variety great things happen.
- Hannah Stickney
My writing process is sporadic at best. And commonly behind a steering wheel. I cannot sit down at a desk and compose a piece of writing for more than an hour or two. For myself, it's mostly research papers, essays on humanity, civics, psychology, school stuff. My creativity comes in chunks, for instance, I'll be driving home from work or school listening to music or slam poetry or nothing but cars passing by me and suddenly, "That's it! That's the angle!" And I'll pull into a Safeway parking lot to put whatever it was that came to me in my phone. It's beyond me why I can churn out ideas while I walk or drive or try to sleep but not when I'm sitting behind a keyboard, or in class when I need it most. It's beyond my teachers as well, why I write at a lower level on state tests and at a much high level when I am expected to write an paper at home... My creativity comes solely from moving and being moved, both physically and mentally.
This was word vomit.
- Grace Helman
Comment below to let us know what your creative process is like!
NEVER MISS / E-NEWSLETTER
I am Levi Macallister. I am a human being. I like stories and Dr. Seuss is my favorite poet. I blog here, personally, and in relation to writing and performance as Levi The Poet.