On the Floor

How I Write

For me, the process of writing is always quite interesting. It starts with a panic and a whole lot of self-doubt. Suddenly, I start to tell myself that I have no idea how to write – that I’m no good at it and everything I’ve previously written was probably garbage and I should never write again (I have a very noisy head). Eventually, it will quiet itself enough to let me begin processing things to write about. Vague, general ideas float around my head, just high enough out of reach to where I cannot formulate them into solidified ideas and stick them onto a page. More doubt floats in.

That’s where rolling-on-the-floor-time comes in. Rolling-on-the-floor-time is crucial to writing. I must allow time to throw myself onto my bedroom floor. I toss and turn on the carpet, throwing my limbs around, whining, “Ugh, I don’t know what to write about” or “I don’t know how to write” or “I can’t do anything”. It truly is just as dramatic as it sounds and is neither a productive use of my time nor a mature way to handle anything. But, like I said, it’s crucial.

Eventually, I peel myself off of my floor and plop myself down in a chair at the kitchen table ready to attempt to write. I can almost guarantee I’ll be at my kitchen table or at the academic centre because I am never productive in my bed or on the couch despite the numerous times I have pretended to myself that I can be. After messing around, I realize that I am in fact still going to have to write something and should probably get started.

Sometimes I have a plan of what I’m going to write and sometimes I don’t. The first bits I write down are the things that I am sure of – the things that you know you want to write about and valuable. Getting the ideas on the page, letting thoughts flow and making a start. I keep it single-spaced so everything is there in front of me. Word vomit onto the page and move things as needed. Write in patches; write a sentence for one topic and move to a different area – whatever is natural. Editing can come after or whenever a good idea is spawned. I follow my instincts. I write as it comes. I trust my process.

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