When and where do you write?

A couple of days ago I was having dinner with my friend Angela and she asked me a question about writing that I’ve never been asked before. Not that people really ask me questions about it to begin with (and up until the birth of this blog I was pretty private about it). She simply asked me ‘when and where do you write?’ Up until her question, I’d never really stepped back to look at my own habits. I mean, I just do what I do and don’t think about it. That may not be the best thing for me though.

Published, big time authors are often asked when and where they write. Their answers are varied. Stephen King famously writes in the morning every single day. Others, like Jodi Piccoult, write a lot in the afternoons. For years I tried to establish a routine that had me sitting in the same spot at the same time so I could dedicate myself to writing.

I think King’s situation is ideal. The man has a lot of money and therefore his timetable allows him to write pretty much whenever he wants. I do not have this luxury since my schedule is all over the place and I don’t really have a designated spot. I used to write on my bed when I didn’t have a desk and that just made me sleepy. My perfect setting for writing was not presenting itself. At least, not frequently enough and I worked on my projects at a snail’s pace.

I recently watched an interview with Lauren Oliver, author of the popular Delirium trilogy, and she talked about how she used to write parts of her novel on her Blackberry while riding the subway in New York City. She said that if you really want to be a writer, you’ll make the time for it. You won’t wait around for the perfect scenario to channel your creative energy, you’ll just do it. You’ll fit it in where it needs to go. As much of the process of writing is channeling your creativity, it’s also the hard work, dedication and focus that’s important, too.

I don’t like writing on planes, or places that are especially crowded. It’s weird writing when I’m on vacation, sitting in someone else’s house. I don’t like writing in the mornings because I’m a night owl. I could go on and on about my own particulars, but I’ll spare you. Whatever they are, I’m going to have to get over them.

If you want something badly enough, you find time to do it. Plain and simple. You don’t get anything you want by daydreaming about it, however ideal and easy that would be. So for the month of June, since it’s not as crazy as the past few months have been, I’m going to try and put aside more time to write and when I am busy, carve out time to do it anyways. I’ll bring my laptop to work for the down hours, keep a journal in my purse, all those little things will hopefully add up and I’ll be more productive (fingers crossed).

So, with that, it’s back to writing. I’m out.

It’s the first entry! Here we go…

When starting the first day of classes in college, you gave a short introduction. Usually you stated your name, your major, where you were originally from, and one interesting thing about yourself. So, since this is the first entry and therefore I am introducing myself, I’ll give it the old college try:

I’m Emily, I majored in English and Communications, I am originally from Denver, CO and I am distantly related to Conan O’Brien.*

I feel like that introduction does not fit anymore. It’s old and doesn’t apply to me. Well, I am named Emily and I am originally from the Mile High City, and I did double major in those two subjects in college (barely), but I feel like so much has changed since then that I should write a new, short introduction, one that fits mid-20s Emily, not wide-eyed undergrad Emily. 

I’m Emily, I’m 26, I currently live in Denver, CO, and I want to be a writer. 

Uh oh, someone else with a blog that wants to be a writer…

But seriously, I do. I know there are a plethora of these kinds of blogs on the world wide web, and I myself hate jumping on cliched bandwagons as much as the next gal, but it’s something I decided might actually help my writing process instead of hindering it. 

Since I started writing novels three years ago, I have been superstitious about talking about what I’m writing. It’s scary! It’s very revealing and very tough. Not everyone can relate to writing and the process (and believe me, it is a process), so I figured that I’d just keep my frustrations and jubilations to myself. No one cares.

I thought this way for a while until I took a class at the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop here in Denver. This workshop was a very basic class that broadly touched on lots of topics about writing, and one of them was using a journal. Well, I’ll keep one for my private emotions-drenched thoughts, but I figure that it won’t hurt to document what I’m up to. As my friend Matt says, jinxes and superstitions are only in your head (and then he would bellow SCIENCE and tell me more crazy facts he learns at his job). Also, having a blog may be one of the ways that my non-novelist friends get a peek at what I’m up to. It can also open up the channels of communications with other writers (but more on how I feel about other writers later). 

So what will you find here, exactly? I’ll be documenting my progress on two projects that I’m working on, the other writing opportunities that crop up, what I’m reading, and generally what I’m up to. I’ve read many a post on the many writers blogs I follow that stress the point that in order to write, you must live your life. There may be some of that ‘me living my life’ stuff on here too. But not too much. We’re not going into ‘dear diary’ territory here, I promise. 

If you would like, you are more than welcome to stick around. There will be much going on here. Even if no one reads it, then who cares, right?! At least it’s here for me as a chronicle of what it’s like being a writer. I can look back, find typos that make me hate myself, and reminisce with a smile, no matter where I find myself in the coming months (years?). 

Until then, take care readers! 

*this has not been proven, but we come from the same Irish clan so we’re probably like 16th cousins or something. It was the only thing I could think of to make me sound cool.