Tricks of the Mind

I ran into a friend who is also a writer. She and I, along with a few others, used to meet for drinks and conversation. All writers, we talked about what we were writing and our writing processes, and complained about the non-writers and our struggles with them. Non-writers are rarely interested in our WIPs and processes. I can appreciate that. I’ve gone into eyes-glazing-over mode when others have gone into explanations about their processes about things like making soap or quilting.

Our outings were wonderfully healthy and happy times. Everyone in the group moved, though, leaving us to find other avenues or go without. I turned to posts like these to help me cope.

When we encountered each other on the street, we resumed our writing relationship, spending fifteen minutes catching up. Both had elsewhere to go, though, so we had to cut the encounter short.

One thing she revealed was that she’d begun using a typewriter to write. She’d slowly stopped writing as much as she used to write, and thought that part of her issue was that she found herself editing as she wrote when she used a computer. That process curtailed her productivity. Typing the work in progress, at this point essentially defining the concept, helped her because she held tangible evidence in her hand each day.

It was an interesting issue and approach. I can relate. Sometimes, when the writing way becomes denser, as it has in the current chapter in progress, tangible progress seems elusive. I type, think, edit, revise, and repeat. It’s not as much fun, but I discover that I still achieve about fifteen hundred words a day. That’s not an amazing amount, but it’s tangible progress.

Once in a while, I’ve returned to writing in a notebook. I consider that much rawer and intense. I’ve done so when I feel like I’m stuck. I usually felt stuck when multiple paths to pursue were available, paralyzing me with indecision and doubt.

In the end, I applaud her typing effort. Whatever it takes to goad yourself to keep writing, you know?

Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

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