Beth // Where I Write
I am delight to have Beth, a regular contributor to WifWS, as our first guest blogger. In this post she tackles the topic of ‘Where I Write’.
If it doesn’t come bursting out of you…don’t do it.
I have often thought about if there was a specific environment which meant I wrote “better” and decided this environment was actually in transit. The majority of writing I’ve actually been lucky enough to have published has been written whilst on the train, more specifically the Liverpool-Manchester train.
For about 18 months I had to commute to get to university and in this time I was never without a notebook and a pen on the train. For some reason this environment, however dull and similar it appeared, seemed to completely fill me with words, ideas and such like. I was truly inspired whether it was completely packed out or I was the only person on the whole train. I couldn’t tell you the reason why but it’s a fact.
I was extremely prolific in that period and wrote more than I’d ever written before or since. The process was simple, scribble pages and pages of often incoherent half-rhymes and part stories and then get home and decipher the best bits and turn them into something more “solid”. I’m not big on editing, this is probably to my detriment, but I usually write something in 5-20 minutes and it remains in its original state with very few changes, I’ve found editing makes my stuff sounds false sometimes. Or perhaps I just don’t know how to do it properly!
More recently, I have relied on my phone for recording ideas. This is mainly due to travelling by bus more frequently and actually being able to scribble anything readable down has become almost impossible! My phone is filled with hundreds of half-notes with addresses, words and people’s names. Sometimes it’s a fellow passenger or a building, sometimes it’s just something that appears in my head for no apparent reason. I love it when inspiration just randomly appears!
I have always preferred to handwrite and then type up, it gives me time to decide whether what I’m writing is actually complete rubbish. I have also always thought I’d like a “place” I used for writing, like a study perhaps but this has never materialised (although the resources are there) so I suppose it isn’t something I need. The first thing I think, wherever I am and whatever time it may be, when thinking about sitting down to write is:
“if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.”
(Bukowski’s So you wanna be a writer?)
Of course this poses problems when you’re facing the evils of writer’s block but I thoroughly agree with Buk and don’t write unless there’s the impulse to do so and for me, unless I’m travelling, it’s very rare!
You can pop over and say hello to Beth on her blog, The Pieces of Me.