In schools, they use the acronym, DEAR, which stands for Drop Everything and Read. So, to my fellow writers, I would say, DEAW for Drop Everything and Write. When your characters start to speak and start telling their stories, you have to put everything down and write.
When Alice Walker said some years ago, that her characters talked to her, I did not understand. But now that I understand the writing process, she had it right. They do speak when you are cleared to hear them.
Yet, in the interim, you have to continue journaling, blogging, letter-writing, or creating poems. You should find other forms of written expression until it’s time to start on that next literary work. As the saying goes, “All things in time, and on time.”
So, when you feel that you are blocked from penning the next big thing, you should never stop writing. Continually put pen to paper even if it is streams-of-consciousness entries or simply making lists of what needs to be accomplished for the day.
Writing should be a daily practice. When your characters do start telling you what they have to say or what is happening with them, it will be easier for you to shift from that everyday stuff to the work at hand.
Simply listen and keep plenty of paper and pens around in every nook and cranny. Be prepared to wake up out of your sleep and record those thoughts. Don’t try to figure out what goes where until much later. Record, record and record.
Stop whenever possible and write. Those ideas are as fleeting as dreams. You may enjoy a dream but when you are fully awake, you may remember nothing. The details have been wiped away. Oftentimes, story ideas work the same way. They come and go in a flash!
So capture those words as they flow! And “Voila!” Before you know it, the page is filled to the brim with piping new ideas.. And now, you are off to the races!
May 8, 2015