by Alice Neiley
My writing process actually varies quite a bit from piece to piece. For example, sometimes prose pieces come out in all one piece in a ten-minute block of time, or longer, say, two hours, but feel finished with very few edits. However, sometimes a poem will take days, a week, or a month because I sit around picking at it so much. Sometimes I need music playing the entire time I’m working on something, other times I only need it to get started, then have to turn it off if I begin to feel crowded or distracted. There are a few constants though:
1. Books. A lot of books. That way I can start every project by reading something by someone else, for inspiration, and to free up what I’ve started to call the “emotional mind” (can’t think of a better description).
2. A fed body. Hunger is really, really distracting for me.
3. Water. Both to look at and to drink.
4. A yoga mat.
5. Music (at least to start with). R&B, instrumental, folk, indie, hip hop—depends on the piece of writing!
Read Alice Neiley’s The Girl and Memory
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