Sometimes, it’s nice to go back to the roots, to think about the process of writing.
During high-speed motivational movements like NaNoWriMo, we may well forget about the simple joys of writing. Sitting down in whatever conditions suit, establishing those weird little routines (I know you all have them: that favourite chair facing towards the South). That’s where the pleasure lies for me – not in bashing out however many words I need to each day, but the simple explorations, the feelings that the act generates. Even, you know, remembering that writing is an art.
I still find it fascinating to look at the processes used by other writers. I’ve often thought that, from the outside, it looks as though to get published you need to be in possession of a key set of secrets, and listening to other writers talk is some way into gleaning such secrets. Here’s Nigel Slater – one of the UK’s great food writers – talking about his processes (in what is a combination of art forms – cooking and literature).
Food writing is an interesting form of literature – writing about things that are very personal and sensual. It’s reminded me how much, in the past, I enjoyed tinkering with other forms of writing – describing landscape or architectures, perhaps, and it’s something I’ve neglected of late. I used to think it good practice. Again, something has been lost by rushing, this time to reach deadlines.
Writing is a process that, for a writer, simply has to be enjoyed. Struggling to think about what to write all the time, or constant frustrations about never being published, will bring you down. You may never be published; but that won’t stop you from being a writer if you enjoy the process.