Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Getting To Be a (Writing) Habit With Me...

Everyone approaches the writing process differently. Everyone has a different way in to the blank page. Truly, there is no right or wrong way. Here's a peek into my writing it is right now...

1) Do you write on the computer or longhand?

All of the above. But no quill, despite the graphic illustrating this post!

I wrote The MoonQuest entirely in longhand, though each evening I input up that morning's output so as not to be faced with having to type up the whole thing when I was done. I write about that experience and why it was so important for me in The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write, which itself was written partly in longhand and partly on the computer.

These days, I do most of my writing directly on the computer...unless I'm stuck, in which case pen and pad are great unstickers.

2) Is coffee or tea part of your writing routine?

I used to favor tea. Now that I have access to an excellent espresso machine , I like to write with a half-caf café americano (milk, not cream!) by my side. When I work in a café, a soy latte (also half-caf) is my drink of choice (see #7).

3) Do you write best during the day or at night?

I wrote the first 100 manuscript pages of The MoonQuest in bed in the morning, before getting up. It was the only way I could guarantee that I would get to the writing. Most of the rest of the book was also written in the morning, before the day's distractions set in. (See I Can't Write Until I...)

Parts of The Voice of the Muse were written in the car on my way to work (mornings). My MoonQuest and StarQuest screenplays were written at all hours.

Although I still prefer to write in the morning, which is when I'm doing most of my writing on The SunQuest screenplay, I do some of my best writing late in the afternoon, which is when I wrote this piece.

4) What's your favorite genre to write in?

It seems that I don't really choose my genres. They choose me...and I surrender. For example, I never expected to be writing fantasy...until The MoonQuest started spilling out of me. Even The Voice of the Muse wasn't a book I planned to write. It just sort of happened to me. And I certainly never expected to be writing screenplays, which is my current focus. Who knows what will come next!

4a) Favorite genre to read?

I spent many years devouring contemporary and older classics -- American, Canadian and European -- and have plowed through a lot of young adult fantasy, as well as books about spirituality, creativity, metaphysics and personal growth over the years. For a while, in recent years, I was taking a break from all that, reading mostly mysteries and thrillers. These days, my tastes seem to be broadening again...though they're still largely focused on fiction.

5) Do you use a pencil, pen or computer to revise/edit?

I almost never used to revise/edit onscreen, unless it was a short newsletter or a blog piece. These days, I still prefer to revise fiction in hard copy, with pen or pencil. But I nearly always edit screenplays on the screen.

6) Do you have any unusual writing quirks, traits or routines?

Earlier in my writing life, I would set up a little altar -- consisting of favorite crystals, art and other (legal) mood-altering devices. I even carried a portable version of my altar with me in the car if I thought I would be writing there. It's been a long time since I've needed that sort of help getting into a meditative space for writing. Generally, I just jump in.

7) Do you prefer writing from home or writing in a cozy cafe?

I have favorite cafés I've worked from over the years. These days, I'm doing more writing at home. But if you follow me on Facebook, you know I have a weakness for hanging out in Starbucks!

8) Do you prefer music or silence while your write?

Both. Depends on my mood. When it comes to music, I prefer something meditative if I'm writing fiction. I'm a bit more flexible with other kinds of writing.

9) What's your favorite motivational writing quote?

Mine, from The Voice of the Muse: "The story knows best." It's proven itself to be true more times than I can count -- in my writing and in my life. So has this one, which also appears in The Voice of the Muse: "Rule #1: There are no rules. There is no right way. There is no wrong way. There is only your way." Another quote, this one from The MoonQuest, also covers my writing philosophy: "You either trust or you do not. There's no halfway in between."

10) Do you have a favorite bookmark?

Any scrap of paper...when I can't lay my hands on the one my daughter made for me a few years ago.

11) What's your favorite fictional character of all time?

I hate "favorites" questions! I'd have to say that my favorite fictional character is the one who is engaging me in a given moment.

12) Who's your most admired living writer today?

See #11.

• What are your writing habits? How have they changed over the years? Please share them here.

• Both The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write and The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy, are available on my website and Amazon, as is The Voice of the Muse Companion: Guided Mediations for Writers. The MoonQuest is now on its way to feature-film production.

• Please "like" The MoonQuest book and movie on Facebook!

Photo by Mark David Gerson: Pencil Bluff, Arkansas

Thanks to writer L.J. Sellers for inspiring this post.


That_One_Guy said...

In the car? I tried typing an idea in my phone's notepad and almost ended up on the next lane without realizing it. haha

Were you inside the car while parked or driving?

Just curious... ={D

Mark David Gerson said...

The Voice of the Muse was written before cell phones had notepads!! I parked at a scenic spot (not hard in Hawaii) and wrote, longhand!