I’m sure there was a time when I thought there was a process you needed to have in place before you could write. A distinct location or a certain amount of time.
I don’t remember exactly when I tossed that idea aside, but I couldn’t have been a writer if I didn’t.
I’m a journalist by trade. I do have set hours and a specific place to write my articles, but it can vary. Sometimes I start early, or I work late. Sometimes my computer comes home with me, or I write a story on site after an event. Journalism comes with deadlines, and that taught me to be flexible in how I approach any kind of writing. Whatever it takes to get the story done is the right process.
I remember being a college student, and a reporter for the college newspaper. I know which I felt more of a responsibility to, for better or worse. One semester, I had an evening history class that fell after a meeting I regularly covered. (Board of trustees, I would imagine, but that particular specific is fuzzy.) I would go to the meeting and then write a version of the story in my notebook during class, between jotting down notes (sorry, professor). After class, I’d race to the newsroom to type up the article for the next day’s paper.
I write my fiction even more in bits and pieces, in stolen moments of time.
A short list of places I’ve written:
– On my phone during my lunch break
– On my phone in the checkout line at the grocery store
– On my phone after my alarm goes off but before the snooze alarm sounds
– In my head during a run, repeating the sentence or idea to myself until I get home
– Ditto during my commute
– Also during showers
– Briefly in one of the many notebooks I’ve purchased for that purpose before abandoning them
– On my tablet while half watching TV
– On my computer, at my dining room table
– Actually on my computer, at my desk, in the rarely used room designated as my office
I started this post on my phone as my baby slept nearby. I’m finishing it in the dining room as my coffee gets cold beside me. The idea came to me as I was falling asleep last night, sparked by a Tweet I saw yesterday or the day before and by a need to remind myself of this truth.
Writers write. That is all.