How do writers write? An impassioned plea for sound advice, by Jade Jones…
After spending another night staring blankly at my computer screen, allowing the endless stream of Facebook posts to parade unseen past my unfocussed gaze, I wondered why I was not using this clearly wasted time to write.
I realised perhaps it was due to my lack of a writing routine. I know fellow writers who put on particular clothing, or sit in a select chair. Others choose the same time of day, or prepare their writing tools with ritual precision.
I have no such device. I ride writing like a lazy surfer, waiting for the swell of emotion to carry me to such a height that I cannot help but guide my pen through the sudden rush of inspiration. The trouble is, in the moments when I am comfortably attired, seated in the most desirable chair, blessed with a miraculously uninterrupted block of time, and sit waiting before the most beautifully arranged stationery, the tide is out.
And when I am seized with a word, a sentence, an idea, a character, or any such swirling current, I am too tired, ill-prepared, unmotivated, or simply unable to do a damned thing about it, and I can only watch out of the corner of my eye as the wave crests and falls and settles into dark and unsettled sea foam.
So I have no choice but to seek help from the writers out there who are drowning in manuscripts, whose filing cabinets spit wads of paper scrawled with ideas, whose fingers ache from mad scribbling – how do you do it? Do you have a routine? Is there a secret placement of pens that unlocks your creativity? Is it your favourite socks? A good breakfast? A walk in the park? The alignment of Jupiter with Uranus?
I will take any and all suggestions on board. At present, my prospects of producing a novel, or even a first chapter, are drifting out to sea with a nauseating nonchalance, and as I farewell yet another day without penning a word, I swear I can hear the theme music of Jaws slicing through the salty air!