Internal writing

I had an interesting question posed to me the other night (at my fun birthday party). My friend asked me how I get time to write with a two-year old in my life. I answered that I can write anything, anytime and what I meant was that I don’t always write but when I do get the time and the urge, I can spew out a lot at a sitting without much trouble. A lot of it may be crap but it does come. I think it is because I have a variety of projects on the go at any one time and the fact that I do a lot of internal writing.

Huh? I can hear you say. Internal writing? Let me explain. I don’t write daily in that I don’t sit down with pen and paper or Alphasmart Neo and produce actual writing that anyone else can read. I do, however, write in my head. On any one day in my head there can be numerous worlds, a bunch of conversations, and various “scenes” that I can see. People live in there so by the time I get a chance to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, they come out and all the conversations they’ve had and situations they’ve been in, just pour onto the page without my having much control over them at all. I become a stenographer for them and I record what they do or say, laughing with them if they are funny and crying with them if they are sad. It is as if I am reading someone else’s writing and reacting to it that way.

The truth is that if I do get the chance to write a lot, I end up creating more and more of those “scenes” in my head to the point that it is hard to live in the real world. I snap at my husband and lose patience with my child because they are interrupting these other worlds of mine. Sounds like a mental illness, I know but it’s true. On the flip side, if I don’t get to write them out of my head from time to time, they pile up and the same thing can happen. Everyone has a different way to write. There are some like me while others need a schedule and a time of day to write every day. Some often have large chunks of time every day like eight hours a day. My husband says that if I wrote eight hours a day, we couldn’t afford the mass of paper I would create. The truth is that I would probably go insane. So, I’ll stick to it this way for now. Maybe those other people have to have their work perfect as they write it and I don’t write that way. My motto is that you have to get the clay on the table. More about that on another day.

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