So we've talked a lot here in the past about how we all write, what constitutes routine, where motivation comes from, what we do when we get stuck and just our general approaches to writing. And I always find it interesting to read about the different thought processes that each writer goes through in writing a book.
My process has never been that complicated, at least to me. I've always tried to keep it simple. I usually start with a first sentence and then let the ball roll. I try to write every day. I use my computer, but I occasionally scribble notes on stickies or in a notebook. I'll edit both on the screen and on paper. Nothing terribly unique. I've always felt that the less complicated I made it, the less there was to get in the way of actually my writing of the book. Strip it down and just go.
But I just read this and, uh, wow. And then I look at the careers of each of these writers and the success they've had and I think, man, maybe I need to start taking this a little more seriously and write on my roof or something because there is some crazy, elaborate stuff here. Margaret Atwood's advice cracked me up and I loved Michael Ondaatje's refusal to acknowledge writer's block.
And I'm not critiquing anything these folks do as part of their process - anything a writer needs to do to get the words to the page the way they want them is what they should do. I just think, for me, that doing some of those things or creating a more elaborate routine might prevent me from writing at all.
Read the article. Share your thoughts.
(Hat tip to Sarah Weinman for posting the article.)
BABES IN JOYLAND
There was a recent article in Entertainment Weekly celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Say Anything and that seminal scene of John Cusack holding up the boombox, playing "In Your Eyes." It's a actually a pretty funny article because the writer actually did that for a girl back in his youth and both Cusack and Cameron Crowe talk about how many people come up to them and tell them the same thing, that they did that for a girl and that it worked most of the time. Also a funny anecdote about how Gabriel originally denied Crowe permission to use the song. Anyway, if I had to nominate a new, contemporary song for that kind of thing, I'd pick this one. I could totally see myself holding up a boombox outside someone's window and blasting this song. If they still made boomboxes. (Gosh, don't you just hate it when there is no official video for a song??? I hate that. Should be illegal.)