This originally appeared on The Writing of a Wisoker on the Loose in May 2011.
Last column I mentioned, in my usual contrarian fashion, that one of the best ways to write is to focus on not writing. I emphasized getting your life in order so you can write. Now, being contrarian to my contrarianism, I’m going to focus on writing.
I find that there are two choices you need to make — to use focused or spontaneous writing. You need to find what method is right for you — and when.
Some people are spontaneous writers. They get the writing bug, sit down and write, and it just comes out. If you’re a spontaneous type, then making sure your life is in order is even more important — because you don’t need anything cramping that spontaneity. You need to have things running smoothly enough that you can suddenly take two hours to bang out half a novella.
Then there are the focused writers. They work best when they schedule a time to write — be it weekly or daily. They may need the discipline, the clarity, or the structure. If you’re a focused writer, then you need to have your life in order so you can sit down and take that large block of time — and not be interrupted. You also need to be sure your life remains organized enough that all the time taken to maintain that orderly state doesn’t leave you exhausted.
Finally, there’s the people who can – or have to – do both. That’s me – some stuff is spontaneous, some works better when scheduled. This is a special kind of situation that means you have to have everything running smoothly. It’s not easy.
I’m kind of jealous of people that can be one or the other. I spend a lot of my time diagnosing what writing style works best for me when, so I can make it work, and it’s a bit of an erratic experience. But it’s worth it.
So, with your life in order, which way do you write best? Find out and make it work.
Steven Savage in his own words:
I’m Steven Savage, and I am Geek 2.0.
OK … that sounds either pretentious or obscure, and I try not to be either too much. So what do I mean by Geek 2.0?
Geek 2.0 is a lifestyle. It’s about taking the geeky values of technology, knowledge, creativity, and media as far as possible. It’s a way of life – and a way of contributing to society.
I believe in taking Geekiness farther – into the next iteration, into 2.0.
Steven Savage is the author of the Fan to Pro blog and books (Unlocking Career Insights With Your Hobbies; Convention Career Connection; Focused Fandom: Cosplay, Costuming, and Careers; Focused Fandom: Fanart, Fanartists, and Careers; Inhuman Resources; and Progeek Rising), has his own web site, and incidentally is the mind behind the popular Seventh Sanctum site. He also writes for Nerd Caliber and Comics Bulletin.