External Forces Of Writing

Drop it like it’s hot.

I don’t like to brag, but I’ve got a pretty sweet pen. It excels on all levels. Aesthetically, its silver body with gold trim is a guaranteed panty-dropper. Functionally, it is technologically advanced. Not only does it sport a robust, gold clip, capable of fastening on to even the most abrasive of surfaces, it also utilises a twisting mechanism to make the nib protrude and retract. None of this clicking shit. None of this plastic, Bic, third-world-pen shit.

Now, that’s impressive enough. But it gets better. The intangible worth of this pen is immeasurable. This is more than a mere pen. This is a symbol of status. This pen is Snoop Dogg’s pimp cup. Hitler’s moustache.

With this pen in my hand I go from Bruce Wayne to Batman. Clark Kent to Superman. Mediocre BA student to fucking… Mewto. I feel like a boss, like I should be hiring and firing mother fuckers left, right and centre when I bust out this inky bad boy. This pen gets more comments than a pro-Zeitgeist youtube video. Pens like this are the grillz of the stationery world.

That was a nice and concise introduction to a subject I’m going to be talking about over the next couple of weeks: the external forces of writing. By external forces, I mean the things in your work area (like the aforementioned pen), your physical surroundings, the things going on outside your head which have an effect on the writing you produce.

I guess the most vital external force is location. Where should one write? Over the years a number of people have suggested that I try writing in various outdoor settings. You know, mountains, beaches, forests, somewhere where you can really suck nature’s dick and swallow its inspirational juices. Fuck that. I like to write at my desk, on my computer, with some down-tempo tunes playing in the background. (More on music next week).

Quickly elaborating on creative work spaces… there’s a nasty rumour going round that a clean working environment promotes productivity. Lies. My desk is chaotic and arguably unhygienic, and I still manage to get things done amidst the stacks of paper and long-forgotten coffee mugs. You might be different. You might not keep an empty wine bottle on your desk as a decorative feature. You might not smile at the sound of countless food wrappers crinkling underfoot. You might not enjoy smearing your naked body with honey and rolling around in said wrappers making garbage angels. Garbangels.

In summary… write wherever you feel comfortable.

Another external force is time. When should one write? Well, for essays and academic writing, I’d say any time when you’re at your most alert; in the mornings and afternoons, most likely. For creative writing… it depends. I quite like the idea of matching the time of day of writing in the real-world to the time of day in the story.

For example, if you’re describing a midday setting, try writing it at midday. If you’re composing a scene that takes place at 4:00 a.m., stay up late and see what sort of feelings that time of day evokes. At the moment I’m quite attracted to writing stories set at night and as a result I tend to do a lot of my writing mostly at night. I find that the
darkness of the real world lends itself to creating the gloomy, immersive moods that I want my stories to have.

I’ve noticed that concluding a post with an irrelevant, edgy youtube video seems to be gaining popularity on this blog...

Hope you weren’t expecting one here.



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