Observing My Own Writing Habits

I love to write. I need to write. Sometimes I find it is like an addictive force. I find it calling me back if I stay away for too long.

I write at a computer situated in my study. I am surrounded by my favorite books. The support of my fellow writers is close at hand.

Writers need to be observers of all things that happen around them. From the smallest insect scurrying across the path to a huge storm blackening the sky, writers need to watch and try to understand the ways of the world in which they live.

My writing ideas come mostly from such things as childhood memories, conversations with children friends and family, things I have read or seen, places and events. on one occasion I accidentally set an emu on fire and this strange and embarrassing experience became part of a story I then had to write.

I often find myself making mental notes thinking, " That might make a story" When I write poetry a single word or a phrase might just be the spark for a poem. I have always enjoyed playing around with words and language. I have to admit that poetry is my favorite form of writing. Ideas come to me because I am constantly seeking them out. Ideas then start to multiply and the more you use your ears, your ears, your brain and your heart, the greater the store of ideas you have to select from.

Very few writers can begin to write without having spent a lot of time thinking about what it is they want to capture on the page. Sometimes your head feels like a tumble dryer of ideas. They go round and round until they are ready to emerge.

When I develop a character in a story I usually put them together based on people I know or have met at some stage in my life. Sometimes they are composite people. I imagine them in real situations doing real and unreal things.

As I write each draft of a piece of writing I read it back to myself, aloud so that I can hear it like a reader would hear it. With poetry it is important for me to hear the rhythm, the music of the words if you like. Sometimes I leave my writing for a few days, weeks sometimes, then revisit it to find out if it stills sounds right or whether I need to polish it further. Sometimes I change a large part of the writing and sometimes I might change just one word.

I mostly write at night and prefer the house to be quiet so that there are few distractions. When the writing flows easily from my mind I feel fantastic. When the writing causes problems or is moving slowly, I take a break and distance myself from the computer. I might walk along the creek or the nearby beach or change the activity or talk to someone and forget about writing for a while. I know it will be there when I return and often the problem has sorted itself out while I’ve been away.

Who do I write for? I write firstly to please myself. I write because I can, and I write because it gives me pleasure. I love being able to play with words and being able to put them into my very own shapes. If I share my writing and someone else enjoys it that just adds to my pleasure as a writer.

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