And you write because? A good question. Have you thought about what compels you to write?
Writing seems to be something I have to do, like eating. I grow unhappy or unsettled if I don’t have the opportunity to write regularly. What is it that lures me? It’s an odd combination: work and excitement. As to where the ideas come from? I don’t know. The seed is just there.
Whenever I’m writing, I seem to do four things:
I explore a thought, an idea, or a feeling whether for an essay, a story, a scene, a situation, or a character. This involves investigating the possible directions an idea could go. Sometimes it’s organic and just arrives. Sometimes it’s work. It’s using the “what if ….” idea as I look at options. It’s brainstorming with yourself and jotting down the ideas in a nonjudgmental way. I do this until I find a path.
Then I hike down that writing path and slip into the caves along the way to discover the secrets. As I explore, I discover layers within an idea or a feeling or a plot or a character. Once the path is open, I follow it, knowing full well a discovery may take place which leads to a new path that veers off to the left or right, a path I didn’t see coming.
Next I experiment with how to arrange the thoughts and ideas. I experiment with the best way to put the piece and the words together to give maximum effect. Long sentences, short sentences. Word choice. I want the reader to see the image, feel the emotion or tension, understand the idea, be touched. I’ll move sentences and sentence parts around because when they are born, they’re a little unruly.
Lastly, I hope I’ve expressed something deeper about life, a universal truth or feeling, that talks to the reader, that talks to me. The final step is to see if I’ve expressed myself with clarity and honesty. I like knowing I’ve worked my way through a puzzle of ideas, sifted and weighed them, discarded and added as needed, and created a whole entity.
The art of expression is defined as “the process of making known one’s thoughts or feelings.” I enjoy entering the maze to see where it leads. I enjoy the writing journey.