My name is Edie Weinstein and I am addicted to words. I read, write, eat, sleep, dream and breathe verbiage. It's been that way since I was a kiddo, toting around books like toys. Like any addict, I can't imagine giving up my 'drug of choice'. Fortunately for me, this habit doesn't cost me anything ..... except for the occasional bouts of insomnia when The Muse won't let me sleep since she is so busy feeding me inspiration as if it were the nectar of the Gods. Sweet and nourishing. Sustaining. Keeping me sane and vertical in the midst of the proverbial dark nights of the soul.
Last year, I penned a HuffPost blog called "The Perils and Pitfalls of Being a Prodigious Writer," in which I waxed philosophical about the craft in which I am blessedly engaged.
Earlier in the week, I had this experience and put the question out to the Facebook 'hive mind' for their input.
"Woke up at o'dark thirty after writing an article about sleep and couldn't drop back into it. As any motivated/compulsive wordsmith would do, I wrote some stuff in my head and actually typed some out and then, satisfied that I had a jump start on today, was able to drift away. For my writing friends, do you compose in your head before the words show up on screen or paper?"
I was amazed at some of the responses that I share here:
"When I write poetry, something will emotionally/intellectually inspire me. I have to jot my few thoughts down immediately. Then I branch out from that point. Worst place to get inspiration is when driving the car. I will pull over and jot down my words."
"Yes. I compose in my head first."
"Typing is a manifestation. Previous to that came a feeling, which stays tied to a thought and it packages itself into forms, like this one."
"I work it out in my head first. Sometimes when I am falling asleep, I visualize writing it on a blackboard."
"Sometimes I must get up and write it down, or it just won't go away. I have a recorder next to my bed, because some things won't wait for me to get up."
"I just let God type through me. It's hard getting out of my own way."
There are times when I refer to myself as "God's Typist," as messages come through me and not just from me, as well.
I have used all of these means to feed the need. I am grateful not to be plagued by the dreaded writer's block. Instead, I experience writer's runs, during which the flow simply won't cease. Grammatical Gatorade needed to replenish the electrolytes in my brain at times. It takes the form of time in nature, listening to music, dancing, sweating it out at the gym, taking a walk, drumming, communing with kindred spirits, prayer and meditation.
Writing prompts are in all of those activities and sometimes no activity at all. Just vegging, breathing and BE-ing call in the ideas that are lined up eagerly outside my door, waiting to be invited in.
One of the most gratifying pieces of feedback that I can receive is how much a reader can relate to my offerings, as if it was written just for them. I love hearing that, as I imagine other writers do as well. It keeps fueling the fire.