Saturday, September 10, 2016

So how does Anne do it?

I'm often asked, how do I do it? Well, I usually start late morning. I have to be awake to write. I break for lunch and write all afternoon, and when things are rolling, I write into the evening, and maybe even late into the night. I like long uninterrupted stretches of time.

Whether or not I have those unbroken stretches, I focus on completing an episode or a chapter. I don't like to break with half a scene written. If forced to break, I start over the next day, or read over in detail, reliving before I continue.

But over the years I've had to be flexible. What has never worked for me is early morning. What has often worked is writing all night. Negotiating a compromise with the demands of the world, not just family but work demands, is key. Whenever I write, I'm living and breathing in the work as if I were inside a movie. I murmur aloud as I write. I hear each word. The rhythm of a sentence, the sound of individual syllables, all this is key. It all has to flow for me, like living water. Style is as important as any other element.

But there are no rules for all writers. I had a friend once who told me that she never started to write until she had the material thought out in her mind. Not me. I often go right along discovering as I'm writing. I never plan dialogue, ever. It has to be "happening" with me as recording secretary. "Make it happen," that could be my motto. Just reflecting on all this makes me so happy and grateful for this vocation or profession.

I'll be 75 in October; I'm sitting here now in a tiny room in a small family home, at a big beautiful Mac computer; and I'm wearing the nightgown I slept in; and I'm ready to work. Ah, it's wonderful.

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