“in the space between chaos and shape there was another chance”
― jeanette winterson
This is my contribution to Day 6 of the WordPress Writing 101 course.
You can see all my scribbles for the course by clicking here and if you really have little else to do you can click here to browse my complete contributions to the Writing 101 course that I participated in during April 2015.
space (to write)
I don’t have a specific space in which to write, nor do I have a particular place in which to do so, at least not in a dedicated sense. In fact it could be said that I don’t have space (or indeed) time in my busy life to write, let alone the ring-fenced space, or time, in which to do so.
Nevertheless, I do so.
Or at least I try to do so.
For some months this year the theoretical, literary and practical concepts of space and place featured prominently in my life. But, as some may say, that’s another story, and, should I stray there, I risk digression and well, as I say, that’s another story. Perhaps for another day, another life.
Writing is not just the physical act of putting words on paper or screen, it is the whole process which begins with that glimmer of an idea, the collation of thoughts, the decision to tell the story, and then, at the end, the writing down of the tale.
I’ve always enjoyed telling stories.
My writing now falls into two distinct zones. The work zone, where I write documents for a living. Reports and recommendations are part of the bread and butter of my life as a consultant. That writing needs to be crisp, to the point, making the incomprehensible accessible.
And then, well then, there is the writing I do here, and on belgianstreets and belgradestreets. This is where I have been trying to improve my writing, express myself and have a great deal of fun in doing so.
Most of my writing is done hunched over the screen of either my 11” MacBook Air or my 17” MacBook Pro, the former is tiny and can almost literally go anywhere, the latter has a bigger screen and is much easier to use but heavier so tends to stay at my desk. I have written with the Air in pubs and bars, on planes and trains, on park benches, in airport lounges, and pretty much anywhere else you care to imagine (or perhaps not).
I do have a vice though. In addition to using my Apples, I do love to scribble in those wonderful black Moleskine journals, then I feel like a ‘real’ writer, and I prefer the kind with blank pages as that lends itself to not only scribbling but crazy mind mapping and sketches, all of which helps to make sense of my topic. Or not.
I have tried all manner of writing apps on my macs.
My current favourite, for getting ideas on to the page quickly and with the minimum of fuss is IA Writer, this one is writing stripped back to the core. A great old fashioned typewriter font on a pure white background, no menus, nothing but the words magically appearing in front of me (I wish!). You can almost hear the carriage return zinging on the typewriter 😉
And then, there is Scrivener, from Literature and Latte. This one I love. Scrivener takes a while to learn, although I know some who have taken to it like a duck to water and grasped its every detail with amazing speed. When the time is put in to get to grips with the app it pays back in spades. I am using Scrivener to help me write my serial story dark | side | thursday. I could write and write here about Scrivener, but I will spare you the pain. Just to say that it is wonderful if you want to capture and collate ideas and organise your work in just about any way you want. Try it, and if you do let me know what you think?
Sometimes, when an idea pops up I might even just jot it down on a post it note (which I then lose) or tap it into the notes app on my iPhone for further work.
I’m also a great fan of mind mapping (see above) and as well as scribbling on bits of paper, a whiteboard, or in my Moleskine, I’ve also invested in two apps to help me, Scapple from the makers of Scrivener, and MindNode Pro, both of which help me in organising my thoughts before I write.
My ideal physical space for writing? Well, that’s quite simple, A space in an attic, not only for my writing but for my photography. Somewhere to write, to edit, to keep together all the tools of my craft (and maybe one day, trade), a place of my own, lined with books and prints of my photos.
My own space.
A place to be.
The prompt for Day 6 of Writing 101 then went on to seek feedback from you with suggestions on what you think I should write.
My writing to date, here at least, comprises the following:
- a weekly poem for Poetry 101 Rehab;
- a weekly chapter for my serial story dark | side | thursday, and
- depending on my mood, inclination and time, I often choose a quote to accompany my photographs and then write a short piece inspired by my images.
I would love to receive your feedback, please feel free to use the polling form below and also drop me a line through my comments page.
WordPress Writing 101 (November 2015): Day 6