I borrowed the title of this piece from Stephen King’s book. It’s okay though, when I saw him a few months ago he gave me permission.
I’d like to ramble on about writing a bit today, and more specifically, the different processes I use to accomplish different types of writing. I like to dabble and experiment with a wide variety of forms and formats as opposed to focus on one particular style. My only end goal is enjoying what I’ve written so it works for me.
I use several different methods depending on the day, my mood, the type of writing I’m going for, etc… I’ll try to break them down below.
I Don’t Know
I’ll get this one out of the way first. I think all writers get these from time to time. Whether sitting and actively trying to write, stuck in traffic, eating dinner, chatting on the phone with someone, etc… sometimes an idea just hits you. Boom, you can go from nothing to write about to overflowing *snap* just like that. I enjoy having this happen and some solid writing comes this way but am loathe to rely on it because of its unpredictable nature. An example on this blog would be the post “Time“.
An Inspiring Lyric or Sentence
I oftentimes draw inspiration both from lyrics and novels and apply them to my own writing. When I first began writing I thought everything that I was going to write had to be different, original, dissimilar from all other writing. That is I bit unrealistic unless you want to write completely random sentences. Sentences that make no sense to anyone. I began to realize that every artist, no matter the field, draws inspiration from others.
There is a line in a song by Tom Waits called “Take it With Me” that goes “The ocean is blue, as blue as your eyes.” I always felt that was a beautiful line and wanted to write one more beautiful for my wife. The song “You’re All That I Need” was completely inspired by that one line. I don’t know that i succeeded in topping that Waits’ line, but that was my attempt.
There are a lot of different, widely accepted, forms of writing and they are easily available for research on the internet. Simply type “List of poetry forms”, “song format examples”, etc… into your favorite search engine and voilá; a whole slew of new styles to explore. An obvious example on this blog would be the post “Limericks“.
I’ll often sit, let my mind drift and write whatever happens to cross it. Here’s an example:
” Love has come and never left
The moon’s been shot
The culprit is at large and the authorities have undermined…
I was fishing one time with my grandfather and that never happened.
Grab the lightning
In a bottle
Or a can
However you can
Understand the plan isn’t planned
Dry the rain from your hair, the tears, the teardrops from your eyes.
Warm yourself by the comfort of the fire, soothe your soul in the comfort of my eyes.
Divine the divine
A lot of Edgar Allen Poe’s work reads like poetry. He had an unfair advantage though; By just spelling his name he was halfway there.
Over there is hope for the future
The dawning of dawn
A day to remember
Nothing but time, time for sorrow, time for love.”
That is from a few minute session I did yesterday. Ninety percent of that won’t be used but there’s a line or two in there I may shine up and insert into something at some point. Examples of this can be seen throughout a good many of posts. I save all of my free writing jots. You never know when a line that may not make sense or seem useful today can be incorporated into a future work.
There are other ways I find inspiration, but those are a few tools that I utilize. I’m really interested to hear of any methods that you find to spark creativity, and whether you yourself have ever tried any of the above.
Until next time.