Where do I write?
For the consideration of the writing process and the nuts and bolts of how/when one writes, I have always had this boldly classic image of the writer at his desk. The idealized setting for the serious work of serious writing. Steeped into the comfort of a personalized battlestation, the writer toils away in his cave. He summons a daemonic madness, mental elbow grease, and a kind of beneficent suffering through it all. For our hi-tech world of today, perhaps there are multiple screens before his eyes, detailing data for a researched project. Or, there is nothing but a singular white page for a monotasked essay, a blank canvas as of yet, ready to be carved up into a masterpiece. The familiar keys, a warm seat. This is how I imagined writing to be performed. Here in this seat, this is how it gets done.
~ The Batcomputer
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.
I am constantly taking digital notes via smartphone on the day-to-day, on everything from fictional prompts, to readings I will get to, to future online purchases. Sometimes I am struck with such a writing brainstorm where a simple one sentence marking isn’t enough. In the field, at the moment of inspiry, 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 and begin to answer in the moment (“what would he do? what time would he choose? how would present time possibly be affected?”, etc.)
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 the beginnings of the work down right there.
~ art by Aenami
~ art by Aenami