I had this image of the writer at his desk. The “ideal setting.” Steeped into the comfort of a personalized battlestation. Multiple screens detailing data for a researched project / a singular white page for a monotasked essay. The familiar keys and a warm seat. This is how I imagined serious writing to be performed. This is how it gets done.
However, since I have started, this illusion has been dispelled. From my own experience, ideas are sparked anywhere and everywhere, alongside the inspiration to get some writing down (even if it’s only inside your mindspace). The sights on the walk down the street, the distant illumination of a specific room in a building, the moon shaded by a single cloud on a clear night. Of course, I am constantly taking digital notes via smartphone on the day-to-day, everything from fictional prompts, to readings I will get to, to future Amazon purchases. But sometimes, I am struck with such a writing brainstorm where a simple one sentence marking isn’t enough. I get the framework of the concept down (“what if a scientist created a machine which could transfer his consciousness into the future, or the past?”). But then I have follow up questions that I can’t help but ask in the moment (“what would he do? what time would he choose? how would present time possibly be affected?”). Soon enough, I find myself writing a first draft. Even if it’s in bullet point format, this ‘writing-in-the-field’ often makes it into the bulk of the finalized product.
I realize now there is no “ideal setting.” My battlestation certainly has its place (ironically, I am writing this seated there). But the paradigm shift of ‘writing anywhere’ presents a blueprint for my own personalized process going forward. Writing can and should happen anywhere, even if you aren’t necessarily ready. I wish to have this capability, of going rogue and writing sincerely ‘in-the-field.’ In addition to being timely, such a mindset also contributes to a writer’s natural compulsion to explore. Being out in the world and driving new experiences creates a potential abundance of creative material to work with. I understand this may not be for everyone, but I hope to make it work for me.
I now have this vision of the writer at the precipices of a mountain, or Batman’ing at the peak of a skyscraper, looking upon the world and scribbling it down right there.
~ art by Aenami
~ art by Aenami