lessons in writing

Today I learn about two important lessons in writing. Yes, people have been talking about those and they are not new lessons, but now I have seen the ‘live demonstrations’ with my own eyes. Well, they are a bit troublesome.

The first lesson is: like it or not, editing takes longer time than writing. way longer.

Here’s a fact: I usually write a post for one hour (of course, with Facebook, e-mails, and Twitter on the other tabs), and I usually end up editing the post for the next two days. No joke.

So after you write your first draft, you feel like, “Yeah, it’s good enough”, save it, and call it a day. Then you wake up tomorrow morning, thinking that, “Hmm, I think that sentence can be replaced by this… Oh how about inserting these phrases over here? Um I don’t like the image, I might as well change it.” and there it goes. Two hours are spent on the next day to edit your draft. And if you’re still not happy with it, add another day.

People have come to me and ask, “I find writing is so hard to do. I just sit there with a blank piece of paper [or a blank page in Microsoft Word] and I do not know what to write. Yet you can write easily!” Well, wrong. It may be true that I write whatever comes to mind easily, but that doesn’t mean the writing is finished. Oh no, editing is hard.

And here’s the second lesson: like it or not, the best inspirations come when you do not expect it, and it is almost impossible to resist the urge to write when they come.

Looking from my previous first hand experiences, the best writings (or I shall say, the writings that I personally like), are written during midnight, after I have laid down on my bed, nightdreaming and ready to sleep.

It’s quite troublesome, because I usually I go to bed at around 11 pm – 1 am, depending on the situation, and that means I will need to open my laptop and start writing again until 1 am – 2 am, depending on the situation.

And when the inspiration comes, it is impossible to resist the urge to write. Why? Because there I am laying on my bed, wide awake, trying to think of the sentences that I’m going to write for the story. uh oh.

The question is, why does my inspiration come at the wrong time? I have no idea. Maybe when I lay down on my bed suddenly my brain starts to think straighter (not that I’m not straight during the day) and clearer.

Once I tried not to write when the inspiration came. Not only that I was unable to sleep until two hours later, when I woke up in the morning I have totally forgotten what I wanted to write, and the mood to write was gone.

Sadly, it’s true: you need to set the mood to write if you want to make a good writing. Or at least, that is applicable to me.

So here is my 20 minutes writing on a Thursday morning, trying to procrastinate, excusing myself of writing a blog instead of studying. I need to start a lecture in 10 minutes, that’s my promise to myself.

Au revoir.

Ps. I spent the next 10 minutes trying to search for a compatible image. I dare that by tomorrow I will try to edit this article again before it is published sometimes in the future.

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