Keeping a diary is an activity cherished by many authors. It has helped them express their feelings as well as exercise their writing memory by recalling experiences.
Developing a good writing memory—that is, an ability to remember events and experiences from a storytelling perspective—is essential for authors. It allows them to be productive and effective in expressing thoughts, feelings, and opinions, which is the cornerstone of good writing.
A tongue-in-cheek quote, attributed to various authors, is: “I hate writing, and I hate not writing. I only like having written.” This is a statement many authors would relate to, and perhaps this is one reason why it’s hard to pinpoint the writer who originally voiced these wise words.
I’m a writer, and I can certainly relate to this quote. However, I’m also a freelance editor, and I believe that when a writer says “I hate writing,” what they really mean is “I hate editing.”
One of the reasons I’m so fascinated by writing is because it’s a very ambiguous, multifaceted process containing many seemingly opposite elements.
It’s chaotic, like any creative effort, yet it is also structured in order for the creative chaos to be decipherable by an audience. It is abstract, beginning with a blank page and ideas floating in the writer’s mind, yet it becomes specific along the way.
One afternoon, while typing an important scene for my novel, I ran out of ink. I had to drop everything, get into the car, and drive through heavy snowfall, to reach the closest store that had a compatible ink ribbon for the typewriter. It was a one-hour drive to get there and another hour to come back.
In the meantime, I had the chance to reflect on the scene that I was writing a bit more. Particularly, I had the chance to think about it in a different environment—there is something inspiring about driving through snowfall during the late afternoon, with the sky becoming progressively darker.