A simple question at first. But then you start thinking about the answer. I could say, “I just write”. It’s true but it’s not a satisfying answer.
I could say, “I sit in front of a screen with a writing app, a keyboard at the reach of my hands, and I start typing”. That’s also true but it still doesn’t answer the question.
The real answer to “How do you write?” ends up defining what kind of writer you are and what your process is. The beauty of doing this lies in the awareness of your process and the ramifications of the thoughts on every bullet point you create to explain it, as well as the fact that the answer is gonna change through time.
Let me show you. Here’s how I write (today).
- I PLAN FIRST — I write an outline. A list of what I want to write about, topics that I want to address, or the whole story in a very short form. This allows me to write with the end in mind and begin the final work with my mind fresh.
- I USE MY VOICE — Then I do sit in front of a screen with a writing app, a keyboard at the reach of my hands, and I start typing. Yes. But, actually, I talk and my hands just follow my words as they come out of my mouth. And I mostly write like I talk. I guess this is why I enjoy first-person narratives so much.
- I THINK OF YOU — I picture you. My reader. Is that creepy? I put you in front of me like we were sitting on a coffee shop table, talking, and I imagine you listening to my words. I try to guess your reaction to them and how I can keep you looking into my eyes while I talk. Otherwise, I’m just writing to myself.
- I WRITE TO MYSELF TOO — I also put myself in front of me and see if I like what I’m writing if I would enjoy reading it. I edit, changing words, rewriting sentences, deleting useless parts. You don’t just write to others, you write to yourself too.
- I KEEP A WRITER’S MINDSET — Finally, when I write, I’m a writer. That’s obvious but I mean I write with a writer’s mindset. I try to avoid thinking about what I can’t write, or if something is preventing me from writing, I try to ward off any spark of writer’s block thoughts or imposter syndrome toxins.
I guess this answers part of the question, but still not entirely…
So, for the comments:
How do you write? Or, if you’re a reader, how do you think your favorite writers write?