Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How You Write

Marisa started it all. Then Matt chimed in. Let me add my 2 cents on how I write. Please feel free to add your process in my comments or in Marisa's or Matt's. I spend a great deal of time covering the fronts and backs of composition notebooks with collages from magazines and stickers and scraps from my life, some more important than others. Recently I've been breaking cds and taping them to the covers, mirrored part up. The images on the front and back of my notebooks often inform what I'm writing. I also have smaller notebooks I carry around or slip in my coat. I often start writing in a new notebook before finishing the last one. Especially the small ones. I have lots of half filled notebooks of various sizes and about 15 or so full composition books that I don't go back to as much as I should. There are lots of ideas that might slip away even after I write them down if I write the play without looking at the pages or if I never get around to writing that idea or finding a way to make it work. I write in pen in these notebooks. These are my favorite pens. In the notebooks, I write scenes or parts of scenes, ideas about plays, ideas for plays, songs, stories, things I need to remember, people's emails, books people recommend. It's actually very disorganized. I write wherever I am, whenever I get an idea. When I'm actually writing a play or screenplay or trying to write that novel, I am doing it on my laptop. For plays, I use 12 point times new roman and I write in word without any sort of template. I hit tab a lot. I usually look at what I might have written in my notebook about the play before writing. My favorite place to write is at my desk but I can write in cafes or on a friend's couch in a strange city. The last few plays I wrote mostly at 5:30 am. I drink some green tea and crank out some pages every day or most every day until the play is done. The subconscious is still present in the morning, I think, before I'm quite awake and the apartment is quiet. Before that, I used to write at night after work but I see too many shows now and am too tired after work to do my preferred work. This most recent play I have been writing in fits and starts. I have trouble getting up these days and there seems to be no reason to rush. There are too many written plays in the pipeline for me to rush this one. I write a lot on the weekends these days, when I'm not revising something. I've been going to Flux Sundays and have of late written on Saturday to have scenes to show for Sunday. I sometimes transcribe with music on but if I'm trying to come up with a completely new scene from nothing, I can't write if the music is on. Music I have in the past written to includes but is not limited to The Bosstones, Phish, Paul Simon, Aimee Mann, Catch 22 . . . Sometimes I need something upbeat to write to and sometimes I don't. I usually wear clothes. In general and when writing.

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