The Muse of Deadlines

This isn't actually me, but it might as well be- this is exactly how I hold my pencil.

This isn’t actually me, but it might as well be- this is exactly how I hold my pencil.

So it turns out that if you want to write a lot- and if you don’t mind if it’s not very good- there’s nothing like a deadline to get the creative juices flowing.

Isn’t that always the way? Murphy’s Law I suppose. The less free time that you have to work on a project the more ideas that you get and the better they seem to be. In the past day and a half- when I should have been editing or preparing for a weekend of production- I’ve instead (also?) managed to put down fourteen pages of prose. Handwritten. In a notebook.


I’m still riding the high from this accomplishment. I’m trying to enjoy it because I know that it won’t last- that one day I will sit down to write and that familiar feeling of not knowing what to put down next will come over me. It’s like a writerly version of the bogeyman: writer’s block- just lurking in every dark corner, waiting for you to pounce.

It’s the kind of writerly momentum that IĀ dream about having. It is what I imagine it must be like to be a “real” writer who sits down with a character in mind and stands up with a Great American Novel. Not that this is G.A.N. material- it’s completely horrifying. The reason why I love word processors is the fact that I can go back and redo and adjust and cut and paste until I get all the pieces in the right order (often that order is completely reversed from the order in which I typed it). I don’t exactly write on a computerĀ so much as I tend to excavate it from a raw seam of words that I managed to pound out on a computer keyboard at an earlier date.

Admittedly there is something different about writing with a pen on real paper. Maybe it is easier for me to get into the flow of it because I’m used to writing letters longhand and I am more practiced at getting into the zone. Maybe it is because it is harder to read back over your work when it is on a page because you keep having to turn the pages and that prevents you from over-thinking what you’ve already written. Or maybe, because you know that you can’t just cut and paste and redo and go back and rearrange everything you just go ahead and put the words down on the paper in the order in which they appeared in your head with the attitude that you can sort it all out later.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on June 26, 2014.

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