I’ve been meaning to write this essay about how I write my essays. You know, the ‘process’. All writers have their own individual approach to writing. Some just sit down and bang it out. Some bang and then sit down and write. We all have our own way. No judgment.
So I had the idea, but I couldn’t figure out how to best structure it. I mulled it over a bit, and then put it on the back burner. A few days later, I picked it back up and tossed it around. Then I did what I usually do at this point, which is, to continue dragging my feet, literally, and go for a run.
Often, I come up with a lot of my ideas while running. With nothing but time to kill, it’s the perfect opportunity to brainstorm. So I plod along plotting my stories, constructing brilliant first lines and clever turns of phrase.
When I mercifully stagger back to my door, I head straight for my dining room chair, aka my work seat, where, with sweat dripping on the keypad, I quickly get down my thoughts, before they are incinerated by my awesome calorie burn. After this initial burst, I go up for a shower, and let my ideas stew in the hot water for at least 10 solid steaming minutes.
Back at the computer, the screen and I stare each other down. Where am I going with this idea? I wonder. Will this work? I write another sentence or two, then feel an overwhelming urge to check my emails. When I come up with nothing, I move on to Facebook and Twitter.
Back to the essay. I re-read. Delete a line and rewrite. Add another line. I sit back and assess. It’s not bad.
I feel the urge for a snack.
No. I need to focus. Write another line. Hmm… should I get some frozen yogurt? Or maybe an apple with peanut butter? Focus! Soup?
I can’t stand it. I’ll be right back.
I go for chocolate and peanut butter yogurt with a medley of toppings. I’m making cones and dipping them as I type. I’m in such a happy, satisfied place. I write a few more lines.
Oh, I’m in the groove now and knock out a whole paragraph. It’s good. Woo. I’m exhausted, I need a break.
Make a phone call.
Go back and re-read what I’ve written. Decent open. Entertaining middle. Tweak. Tweak.
Get up for more sprinkles. What? I need more sprinkles. It’s part of my process.
Just a few more lines and I’m done.
I’m antsy. I need to pee.
I’m almost finished. So close. Tweak. Tweak. Twitter.
I just need the right ending.
Make another cone.
Oh, I’ve got it!
Hang on. I’ll be right back…