A Writer's Process: Sophie van Llewyn

I love to write on the huge couch in my living room, with my computer in my lap, reclining my back on the multitude of soft pillows .

However, that isn’t really an option any more since I became pregnant , so minor adjustments have had to be made.

When do I write? Being a doctor, my schedule is quite chaotic. During vacations, I write 4-6 hours per day, but when I have to work, I am only able to write on week-end for a few hours.

I find writing a very rewarding experience and sometimes I manage to enter that state when I am ‘on a row’ and the ideas keep flowing. I often try no to be over-conscious about my writing and let my unconscious do the job, too, with very surprising results. Not once had I looked at the computer in front of me after committing something to paper and wondered ‘Where did that come from?’

The greatest surprise was the ending of my novel.

First of all, my leading character ended up in a totally different place than what I had expected as I began to write the book, and second , she did something which I didn’t entirely approve of.

I had invested certain qualities and features in her, and at some point in the story, she began doing whatever she wanted and not what suited me. However, this only made me happier with the final result. My character was so strong and came to be so alive in my mind, that she actually did things her way, in the end.

I sometimes find it difficult to choose the perfect words in order to convey an idea I have in my mind.

At times, I feel that the words I have written don’t accurately express the idea I had formulated in my head. I encounter this difficulty most often when I am confronted with descriptions, landscapes, interiors, dress or countenance. I often find that the words on the computer screen don’t do justice to the Idea as I saw it with my mind’s eyes, and I find that incredibly frustrating.

I should probably mention at this point that English is a foreign language to me,

but if you would ask me now if I find it hard to write in English, I would say no. I believe that writing in my maternal language would be just as hard/easy (it is all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?)  Of course, it was difficult in the beginning, I really had trouble with the phrasing, but approx. 200,000 words later, I can’t say that I find it straining anymore. I have read somewhere , years ago , that people express themselves with far more clarity in a foreign language, because they have to search more consciously for their words. I can tell you now, from my own experience, that the statement is true.