Thursday, 24 March 2011

I am not a tidy writer

or the sort of writer who plans everything meticulously in advance. (If I did these blog posts would never get written in the mornings. I rather suspect that the majority of my followers wisely ignore most of my blog posts and go on getting about their daily lives without me. I can hardly blame them. )
But, to get back to the writing bit, I am not tidy writer. I plunge in. I scatter cat hairs (words) far and wide. I pounce on them and play with them. I will stop and stroke them. I arrange them in patterns I like - and then rearrange them. I suspect it is a wildly inefficient way of getting things done.
There are clearly other cats and humans who carefully arrange things right from the start. First they search for their material. They do "research". They hoard things in notebooks. They have files.
Then they lay everything out in neat heaps of matching words and ideas. They prowl along the heaps with a checklist. Is everything there? They brush them out gently with a whisker, checking each one.
Only then do they begin the serious work of arranging their hairs or words in an orderly manner.
When they have finished they return to the checklist and, using another whisker, they even more gently nudge their work into the correct shape.
I cannot do it like that. I wish I could start at the beginning and go to the end. I know I rely too much on my memory.
Things happen when I write. Things I do not expect happen when I write. I do things without knowing why. I had no idea why the were clearing out a cupboard in the first chapter. I just knew they were. The answer turned up in the last chapter when even I did not expect it.
I wonder if I use those checklists unconsciously? Do I actually have those cat hairs under better control than I thought I did?
I doubt it. I know I really am an untidy writer.


Anonymous said...

I'm a new follower. I have to wonder if you've ever met a tidy writer? Oh, I've heard the legends. I've read the tales (or is that tails?) but I have to wonder, do they really exist?
I've read (and it's also true for me) that the real work starts only after the words begin to hit the page.
Sounds like your untidiness is just right.

Anonymous said...

Cat, I love the way you scatter cat hairs. Please keep scattering them. I think a tidy arrangement would be like a tidy house without books - and you know what I think of those. Chris

widdershins said...

Probably the difference between the civilised cat and the barbarian cat...

... I'm a barbarian Pooh with civilised rising!

widdershins said...

P.S. I just discovered that my username doesn't link to my blog .. which is weird because it does for other blogger blogs I comment on... one of the universes little jokes I dare say...

... So if it's OK with you Cat I'll put the URL underneath any comments I make... like this! :)

catdownunder said...

Hello New Follower - I like your sense of humour! I think there might be another New Follower too - I seem to remember that last time I looked there were only 68 and now there are 70. Purr!
Oh Chris, I know how you feel about a house without books!
I am obviously not in the least bit civilised then Widdershins!

toomuchpractice said...

I have never seen a tidy writer... I always say I am a vomit writer... stuff goes into my head during the days and then it gets to a point where I let it all out... a little editing and I'm done.
Cat hairs is a much nicer way of doing it ;)