I used to have a boyfriend whose creative processes came to life at about two in the morning.
He could work all night, cocooned in his dimly lit room, working on scripts and emerge briefly at around six in the morning when I was feeling at my most artistically productive . . . needless to say, the relationship didn’t last.
And so it has continued. Six-thirty in the morning, in bed, with tea, that’s my writing time. The day hasn’t really started, lists of stuff to be done, safely downstairs. Dreams still cling and the previous days visual and audial impressions have been stocked ready for use – consciously or subconsciously. On the rare occasions that I don’t work at that time I feel slightly distracted all day, a niggling cloud hovering over my personal horizon.
So, the writing process itself . . . I want to make structure but often (mostly) that seems to be an elusive thing, less so for short stories – an idea presents itself and refuses to go away until written down at least in a skeletal form. As they are short (5,000 or so words) it’s easier to craft a structure, a beginning, middle and end.
Novels, for me, are more of a vast plane stretching out with a million possibilities
However much I try to plan, they take on a form of their own – usually fabricated by the characters themselves who seem to decide themselves what is about to happen next.
This spontaneous form of working is exciting and I never find myself staring at a blank page wondering where to go next, however it does mean a lot of work later, rewriting, figuring out plot continuity elements and reining in the more ‘tangenty’ aspects of my writing.
After my early morning a start, real life starts to encroach.
I pack up the ideas for a while and deal with the everyday. At some point I will walk dogs. For my writing process it’s vital to walk and think, look at trees, clouds, buildings, peoples’ gardens, etc. Most ideas seem to spring from my body being engaged in movement – swimming, particularly.
Throughout the day, when possible, I will edit and re-write, write blogs and generally carry out stuff associated with writing, but the actual, real writing is an early morning activity; anything I ever write late at night will be stilted, probably incomprehensible and will need to be deleted at six-thirty the following morning . . .