I still make up characters and imaginary friends -it's compulsive, I couldn't give it up even if I tried- and I'm in constant contact with them, but I don't put their stories on paper; I'm too obsessed with my own "real" life. Needless to say, my characters influence everything about me: my choices, my ability to see different points of view, my desires for this life, and even my daily behavior. People who find this strange clearly don't realise that imaginary friends aren't separate entities from the thinker; they are alter egos. They allow me to explore crazy ideas before I decide whether or not to bring them to fruition.
It's no secret that some of the places where I get to express my alter egos are my glorious journals. Some of them are used for plain writing and others contain visuals. I haven't found a better way to "know thyself" than pouring your soul into a notebook. I've also learned over time that I don't do well with the advice from certain professional writers and journalers, because they have what I call a "too mehanical" way of aproaching the process. For me, when I get mechanical... it just doesn't work. If I'm not immersed in some sort of emotional uproar, if I'm not bathing in the juices of restlessness... my brain is frozen. And I don't resist this condition anymore, on the contrary; now that I know for sure what works for me, I fuel it. I swallow all the inspiration I can gather on a daily basis, and fill myself up that way, then process it all through my blood, then spew the result with my own DNA attached to the mix of things. Hasn't failed me yet.
These are a few of the key ingredients of my writing process:
Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.
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The passion for the story is the wind in your narrative sails. Begin at the heart. We must hear the heartbeat of the story. Love your characters into existence.
Don't forget to infuse your writings with sense of humor. I must admit I'm a compulsive sarcasm weaver!
Patricia Lee Gauch
Bad writing precedes good writing. This is an infallible rule, so don’t waste time trying to avoid bad writing. That just slows down the process. Anything committed to paper can be changed. The idea is to start, and then go from there.
Writing is alchemy. Dross becomes gold. Experience is transformed. Pain is changed. Suffering may become song. The ordinary or horrible is pushed by the will of the writer into grace or redemption, a prophetic wail, a screed for justice, an elegy of sadness or sorrow.
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
You don't really understand an antagonist until you understand why he's a protagonist in his own version of the world.
The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
One of the things I do in my journaling practice is try
to see things from the perspective of the people who
challenge and/or hurt me.
Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.