Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How I Write—In Case Anyone Is Interested!

Sometimes people ask me about my “writing process.” I’m not sure I have one. I have no requirements about tools or time or place: I can write on a keyboard or a notepad—or even on a barroom beer mat. I can write anywhere—at a desk, a cafĂ© table, in bed, on a park bench, on sand at a beach—and at any time of day or night.

Two things I can say about what writing is for me: first, it’s a process of recording. The ancients believed that the were given their art by divinities, by muses for whom they were simply translators or elements of transmission to a human realm. I completely understand this idea. When I write, I don’t know where the stuff comes from. It surely doesn’t come from me! The words, the images, the characters, the stories—none of this is mine. It all comes into my brain from somewhere, from out of nowhere. It’s like a movie playing in my mind, and it’s up to my hands to get it onto the screen or the page.

Apollo and the Muses

Second, writing is a craft, like basket weaving. Once the ideas start coming, it’s a matter of using the right words, the best words, les mots justes, to render my vision as accurately as possible. If I’ve succeeded, the reader experiences exactly what I experienced when the thoughts came into my head.

I hope you’ll enjoy my book, Listening to Ian Magick, which is due out this fall.