I was thinking about FAQs yesterday, and I shared a few of the FAQs I get asked about writing. It occurred to me, that having posted these questions, maybe I should answer them, or at least some of them! I am fascinated by other people writing, and enjoy reading people’s accounts of why, and how they write, so I hope others might be interested in my take on it:
- Why do you write? Writing has become more than a habit, it’s become almost a compulsion. I always have to have something to write with and something to write on, like a security blanket I guess. If I don’t have at least a pen or pencil with me (I can always find scraps of paper to write on, till receipts, the actual back of envelopes – but no longer ‘cigarette packets!) if I don’t have something on which to write I have a little low-level anxiety. With modern technology, people always have their phones, and I have started making notes on mine. This is drifting away from why I write; I see things which intrigue or interest me, I have spurts of inspiration, I hear snatches of conversation, or see scraps of words – headlines, graffiti, torn newspapers… However, the stories I write are there in my head, the people leading their imaginary lives (imaginary to me, not to them!) Does that make me seem very eccentric… maybe!
- How do you think of something to write about? See question 1 above! Once I have started a story, I do sometimes come to a part where I don’t know what is going to happen or how a situation will resolve; then I carry the puzzle around with me and gradually work out what will happen next – sometimes the solution comes through pushing myself to continue, even when I’m not sure where I and the story and my characters are going!
- How do you (i.e.’one’) start writing? Imagine you are telling your story to someone else – a partner, a friend, an anonymous person you get into conversation with on a train, in a pub, standing next to them in a queue. Just write it down – when it is there on the page, then you can go back and change it or play with it or refine it and bash it into something. If you wanted to start running you would expect to set yourself an easy target – to the end of the road or round the block, and you would expect that at first you wouldn’t be much good – you might be out of breath or your breathing is wrong or your muscles complain, but as you do it more and practice, you overcome these difficulties – it’s the same with writing!
- Do you have a special place to write? In the smallest room in the house – no not the bathroom, but the smallest upstairs room which has become my study/workroom. However, I can write anywhere; because my handwriting is so terrible I don’t usually write on paper unless I have to, but I take my laptop whenever we go away.
- Don’t you get fed up with writing? No, never!
Reading and writing are so linked, I couldn’t find a picture showing me writing, but here I am as a kid reading!