Before I sit down and write, I look and see what is needed.
I search what is needed to be expressed, I outline my ideas in my head and hop[ straight to it.
My creative process usually starts with a news story or something that I watch in a movie or after reading a book. Then I just start getting a thought in my mind of what I could write and I start writing about it.
I usually think a lot before I go to bed at night, sometimes this results in sleepless nights, but it gives me new ideas for blogs, poems, short stories, ext. Writing is a way for me to vent, as it is for most writers. It is also a way for me to escape reality and live in a different dimension.
I research the topic until I have a clear idea of the information that I need to cover. If it is a complicated topic, or a lengthy article, I use the old 3X5 card method of organizing the material. Then I sort them into piles, order the piles, and write the article.
It's a struggle to get me to sit down, but once I get going.... I can't remember who said that when you write, it's as if something writes through you, but that about sums it up.
I spend a lot of time on dialogue. I like the flow of language and the spontaneity of responses. While writing a first draft, I tend to make the conversation between characters the dominant focus and then go back and add in the scene and details of expression. I find the most creative thought processes happen for me while driving or being the passenger and thinking about the next crazy characters and their lives.
I write lines of dialogue first, so it's more like writing a script scene and then I go back and flesh out. Cutting is always the hardest part whether it's a character or a whole strand of a story. When I'm at home I usually write with instrumental music in the background and I don't set myself a goal of writing so many pages or words a day, or writing at any set time, this is a passion not a job.
I have a strong emotion and I feel the urge to write about it or do a painting
It's kind of erratic. I'll get ideas at weird times, and when that happens, I have to drop whatever it is that I'm doing and jot it down somewhere. I like to go on long walks or drives while listening to music. That helps me mellow out and think. Sometimes things come to me in dreams.
Sometimes, the process starts in a chaotic fashion. I feel an urge to write, and it happens. Most times, I do something to focus on what I'm doing in the moment. Playing guitar or meditation tends to work well.
Lately, I have discovered that simply living in the moment and being grateful evoke the love I need to create beautiful things.
So, before I write, I feel a need to simply calm and center myself. Then, I write from my heart. That creates the flow.
It all depends. It can be sparked by emotions, dreams, or something random.
Usually, pacing around the room, talking to myself. Sometimes envisioning a movie trailer for the story. Quick flashes and soundbites, sometimes a particular song that helps paint the tone I want for the piece or scene I'm writing. Then I usually have to have a drink nearby. Water or chocolate milk. Then I put my claws to the keyboard and see what comes out.
I learned early on that I cannot say, "I'm going to write a song," and just start writing. Before I sit down to write I usually have several lines, if not several verses, in my head. Sometimes, I will start writing within minutes of the initial lines coming into my head. Other times, it may be hours or days before I start writing. On many occasions, I have written an entire composition in one sitting. Most of the time, however, it takes several sittings, over a period of days or weeks, to complete a poem or song.
Almost without exception, song lyrics have come to me accompanied by a melody. I am not musically trained, so it is not easy for me to write music. During my most prolific song writing period (1994-2003), I bought a 49-key, then a 61-key keyboard. I labeled every key on the board and bought some music paper. I would bang out the melody of a song one key at a time, doing my best to determine which words and syllabls got quarter notes, half notes and so on. Of the 20-25 songs that I felt were worthy of recording, I think I wrote the music to about 10 songs.
I usually have this idea--a person walking by me, a dream, a curious story someone tells me--that I can't get out of my head and before I know it, I've falling into my creative coma and I'm wrapped in the warm recesses of the creative process and the story unfolds.
Before I sit down, I pretty much know the whole story, or at least think I do and all the main characters, but once I get around to writing, I'm amazed at how much they change. With my last book, I wrote eighty pages before I realized that the voices where all wrong and I had to use first person. I went back to page eight and re-wrote from there. It's horrible to see those characters and all that writing go, but it's also so cleansing. The characters, once you create them, take on a life of their own. Its the oddest and most amazingly cool aspects of writing that I had NO idea about. I thought as a writer you were God, but now I see that really, you're just someone who sees into another world or life and you've got an obligation to record it just as it really is, not as you'd have it.
It's completely different for fiction and non-fiction. When I write the former, my subconscious frequently shifts into overdrive, and I find myself dragged to the keyboard suddenly as ideas and expressions force their way into my fingers. Non-fiction is more deliberative; I simply decide to have a writing session and proceed to organize my research and thoughts, then try to say things in an interesting, provocative, and readable manner.