Friday, September 14, 2012

How I got my writing groove back

"Isn't that what we're all trying to do? Go back to our old selves?"
- Cat Power (Chan Marshall)

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”
-Neil Gaiman

I used to be a journalist, so to me, there's no such thing as a writing groove or being in the mood for writing or being visited by (please don't say it, oh please don't say it) the muse. Other journalists I know will agree. You write the damn story. You reach that word count. You make your deadlines.

Since I started writing full-time, I've tried to write 1,000 words per day except for the four months when I was on a self-imposed vacation and the first two months since my second son was born. Sometimes I succeed; most of the time I don't. But I write almost every day.

I used to write on my computer, a MacBook that's getting long in the tooth. Pages was my word processor of choice. I'd place Pages on Desktop 2 and hide my browser on Desktop 1 so it wouldn't bother me as I wrote. Something was wrong though. My back would hurt from writing at the computer. My eyes would get strained. I would always get distracted. Inexplicably, writing at my computer would put me under stress. I felt like someone was watching all the time. I was constantly thinking that I needed to hurry up. Worst of all, the writing felt forced.

Recently, I returned to the way I wrote when I was young. In bed. On a notebook. With a pen. I was pretentious when I was young, so I wrote with a fountain pen. It took a while to get used to it, but once I did, I was hooked. Ever since I returned to writing this way, the words have come – not easily because words are never easy – they've come without too much of a fuss. They've landed on the pages of my notebook regularly and in large numbers and they brought friends. These friends were good ones, the kind that you'd be happy your kids had if they brought them home one day.

In the last few weeks I finished a short story and wrote a chunk of the book. Most of it was pretty good, I think. Still a lot of work to be done, but I'm happy with the progress.

This is me at work. I'm in a good place.


  1. Though you and I look nothing like each other, magkapatid nga tayo! I love writing on a notebook too! I carry notebooks in my bag all the time. I felt so lost last night when I thought I lost my notebook. But I found it in my clinic! Hooray! Btw, love the padded headboard! And of course, the sleeping Vito!