Thursday, January 31, 2008

Writing by instinct

Today was a great writing day for Neil Gaiman:

Still on Chapter Seven of The Graveyard Book, but I'm well into the last half of the chapter, and it no longer feels like I'm walking towards the horizon, with the horizon retreating as I advance... I've written about eleven easy pages today, and cannot wait to get back to it. If I'm still awake and writing I may pull an all-nighter.

It barely feels like I'm writing it. Mostly it feels like I'm the first one reading it.

I felt a delicious little thrill of recognition when I read that. It doesn't happen every day or even every week, but quite often I become so deeply absorbed in my work that it's difficult to believe I am actually writing the words that are leaping onto my computer screen. It's a terrifyingly wonderful thing when your mind comes unlatched and the story spills out and you're afraid to get another cup of coffee or answer the phone because you can't take your hands away from the keyboard, not even for a moment, or the magic might stop.

I wonder if that happens to all writers or just to those of us with a certain type of writing personality (please note that I am not associating this phenomenon with talent or experience). It happens quite a lot to me.

How about you?


Brian 'Hobbes' Wu said...

I'm still trying to write more. It's hard for me to stay focused for long periods of time but once I get to this point you're talking about, it should be much easier and exciting to write in this way!

Keep up the good work


Shauna said...

Although I wouldn't say I'm a 'writer' I do have moments where I love to write. I find it especially thrilling when I can close my eyes and see the story play out in my head as it flows through my fingers.

It's usually about that time when I hear, "Sweetheart where's the ..." or "Mommy! He started it!!"


jennifer h said...

Yes, that happens to me, also. I find that if I get my backside into the chair and set a goal for myself, the words tend to come. Sometimes I will sit down with a modest goal of 500 words and end up with 2000 before I know it. Those are good days.

Amy Jane (Untangling Tales) said...

This happens for me when I catch an emotion or something from a song or movie.

I wrote my while climax (rough-rough draft) after watching Karate Kid II.

It's nothing like KKII, and I've since revised it further, but the emotion that ending left me with clicked something I was seeking for my climax and it just... inspired me.

Is that corny?

DG said...

Rarely, rarely, but this happens to me too.
Sadly, it does not last long!