I believe that writers should keep journals, because that’s where we truly write for ourselves, and what good is a story that we ourselves don’t want to see in print?
Along those lines, I do enjoy reading famous authors’ journals. Not that creeping is my pastime or anything, but with entries like this, why would I not?
I’ve written for a living for close to a decade now, but I actually have very little to show for my years of experience.
So now I’m scrambling, trying to understand my own craft better, and you know what? Let the first lesson be that you should learn about your job wayyyy before the one-decade mark.
But the second best time to plant a tree is today, am I right? So no use crying over spilt milk (oh, we’re on a cliche journey with this post, so put on your seatbelts). Instead, let’s explore the skills any typical writer should have—or in my case, wishes he had.
Do you ever feel differently towards a problem depending on your mood?
I have. Take, for instance, my writing process. My attitude towards the blank page changes along with my mindset, most prominently before and after exercising. Ditto pre- and post-alcohol as well.
But the circumstances themselves don’t really change, do they? Only your point of view does. It’s a miracle, really, how difficulties can change just with a slight shift in perspective.
As much as I recommend avoiding the romanticism of the writer’s life, I do find myself fascinated by famous authors’ creative processes.
And what better way of fuelling this fascination than by gawking over their tools of creation?
To be honest, the only reason why I have a LAMY 2000 sitting in my drawer is because Neil Gaiman uses one to draft his stories. I’ve also written on Vim to emulate George Martin’s preference for Wordstar.
But now that I’ve decided to stop blindly going down the path of tool-collecting, I’ve found myself gravitating towards simpler and cheaper options.
I don’t believe in writer’s block. That’s right, I said it, the words of an ex-journalist that had this term banished straight from his soul through the involuntary administering of deadlines.
Editor just gave you a one-hour assignment? You better have the finished product by then, even if it includes quotes and facts from people you haven’t called.