When it comes to creative writing, I require lots of mental freedom where stress is at a minimum. Then I can devote my mental faculties to the stories I want to write. This is particularly important for my first draft to the extent that I even need a stream of consciousness approach.
The Early Bird Gets the… Pencil?
Hence one of the main reasons why I like to wake up early in the morning (at 5:00 AM if I’ve gone to bed just before midnight) and write. This early, my mind is fresh while my body is tired. I’m able keep my mind clear and focused, picking up on the river of thoughts and ideas flowing through me and into my fingers, moving the pencil along the A4 notebook and transforming them into words. I love writing by longhand for my first draft. Once I start, I keep going – no editing, no rereading, no thinking – just writing until I’m depleted. This ‘free writing’ process as it is called, can last anywhere between one to three hours – my average is two and a half hours.
I can end up writing anything from flash fiction to short stories (or a part of them). Some mornings catch me completely off guard where I write about a subject or even a genre that I wouldn’t expect myself to write about at all. Sometimes I even write fiction that is plot based and what I later regard to be part of an excerpt for something much bigger (obviously… duh!). But the process is invigorating with much raw material being produced. All in all, at the end of a week, there’s always enough material to extract for writing a further draft. I can’t help but feel rich with all the ideas and possibilities that open up through this creative process.
My Space/Time Continuum
I do what I can to keep my stress level at a minimum. Right now, I’m overlooking the fact that this is going to be a chaotic month – moving house, a long weekend in Germany (preplanned) and a couple of essays with deadlines – by focusing on the outcome of having a bigger, more peaceful apartment with a separate working room where I can do all of my writing.
At present, I live in a small studio apartment with my partner and it’s literally next to one of the busiest intersections in the city. Our new apartment, on the outskirts of the city, has two extra rooms and the street is lined up with trees. I’ll finally have my little bubble where I can be creative and productive in. My own space and time. And I’m happy again just thinking about it.
So I might not be passing by you as I frequently do and engage you with your content, but at least you know why. And one more thing, if you’re anything like me and love books instead of an eReader, then I can assure you that moving is literally a ‘pain in the rear’!