doesn’t work for the person next to you, and that’s the problem with writing. There are no set of rules, no guidelines to follow. Instead it’s just you and whatever you choose to write with at the moment. It could be the laptop to your right, the pen to your left, or the brain in your head. Everyone writes differently because no two people have the same style or ritual when it comes to writing.
I always write with my eyes closed. It’s weird, but it’s how I’ve always done it. I don’t care about mistakes, there’s spell-check for a reason—all I care about is the picture I’m trying to convey through language. I’ve always thought of a scene as a black and white picture. My objective is to add the color—that’s why I write with my eyes closed. You can’t see a picture if you’re staring at words.
Stephen King, however, doesn’t have a particular writing style; he just writes. In an interview with The Paris Review, he stated, “believe it or not, I was about six or seven, just copying panels out of comic books and then making up my own stories.” For him, it started with pictures, too, but in a different way, with comic books. I’ve always loved Stephen King, not because of his writing (which is good), but because of his persistence. Forty-three novels, eight short story collection, eleven screenplays, two books on the craft of writing and three hundred million books sold. If that’s not something to marvel at then I don’t know what is. Most of us will never reach his status, his portfolio, or even his persistence, but if we keep writing, maybe we can get close. If you want to read more about the interview with King, please visit this link.
Another author, Seth Godin, is a little unknown, but he has a writing process all his own, which he describes on his blog. He starts by reading books in the genre in which he’s writing the novel and then goes from there. His process looks like this: “Eight hours a day for a year. I read hundreds of books, filled notebooks with ideas and wrote more than 600 pages, less than half of which I ended up using.” We’re all familiar with writing in excess, but it’s finding the process that works that will help us in the end.
It doesn’t matter if you’re Stephen King or Seth Godin, no writers write the same. We find processes the work for us. Whether it’s comic books or reading books, we do what works best. If it doesn’t work, we start over and find a new way because writers are persistent. We may doubt ourselves often. We may ask ourselves if we’re really any good, but we will never give up because writing is what we love.