How I Write or How You Can

The idea of writing this art icle came to me in Lisbon in May 2019, whilst I was browsing the area of the market and its nearby Jardim Dom Luis.


Why not share how I write?





 

Keep your thoughts


I use both analogue and digital ways of keeping thoughts: I have a dedicated blog notebook. My second choice would be my personal moleskine, whilst if I am on my way / travelling and not having any of the above handy - even better, I just head somewhere local and buy something special: a notebook and a pen to capture impressions and, as a bonus, the locally bought items will stay as souvenirs with me to remind me of the place and events.


Second way is keeping it digitally: phones are always there with us. I use Google Keep, and MS oneNote; I type, I take pictures. I used to travel with my heavy DSLR in the early days, where now I still value RAW images yet divert to portable and lighter cams. Even though I prefer to have RAWs wherever I can, I belive that you can create good enough footage with your phone (e.g. for an article "Instagrammable Places in Hamburg").


 

Treasure Hunt


It depends on the context, yet I capture pictures, articles, quotes and phrases that attract me or create an emotion in me - without thinking more of it: I collect them. More seldom, I would collect totems or talismans from places I have been to.


 

Timing


Capture it now, as there is no better time. If something resonated with you, it is worth capturing (quotes, pics, thoughts). Yet, no panic needed if there is no chance to capture "there and then": in my experience, I can remember episodes up to 2+ years back if I really want to. Go onto treasure hunt, close your eyes and go back to the episode at a more convenient moment: write it down. Help yourself with google, instagram if needs to be. Treasure hunt can continue in future: once you start working on a story, your mind will feed you with clues to add to the theme.


Nowadays I have my creative muse. She throws ideas onto me whilst I am watching a movie, she can wake me up at 2 a.m. with a thought that I have to capture there and then. Once you are attentive and curious, your inspiration starts visiting your more frequently.


 

Feel It


Unfolding the topic of emotions, I pay attention to senses and stimuli: visual, olfactory (scents), audiatory, tactile and gustatory. They are crucial to make me write touching, "felt through to the bone" articles. Finding stimuli that speak to you (music, art, movies, you name it) will put you into the right mood and what Orlando Murrin calls "a flow" - this is important for creative fulfilment. Sometimes a glass of wine helps (when editing pictures in Lightroom or writing an article, this is a habit I have and do not feel guilty about).


Inspiration can be split into your intrinsic inspiration (your thoughts and impressions) & extrinsic inspiration by reading books, browsing web, buying or capturing anything that leads you deaper into your topic and helps make a richer article.


 

First Steps in Writing


You already took first steps above - return to your collected treasures, they may save you from a "writing blocade".


A stream of consciousness is where I start. As in "spill" it all out. No grammar, just write down what comes to mind. Bullet points and mindmaps may be helpful - put the topic into the middle of the sheet, then draw arrows from it to the related categories. For example, preparing a mindmap for this article, I put the key theme "How I write" into the middle. Categories, surrounding the central theme were: types of inspiration, senses, timing, etc.


Closing your eyes may help you reconstruct the memories better. You may choose to put yourself into the "right" artistic mood: go somewhere you like, have a glass of wine, listen to music (involve senses we spoke about before). Once you have a collection of your work, rereading or rewatching footage may give you additional energy to write.


 

Noone is Perfect


Post it if you feel like it (or tend towards it more than keeping it a draft). I rework / refine my posted articles as insights or suiting quotes and clues come along.


 

Different Angles


Say, you collected footage about your last trip to Lisboa. Assume, you wrote and posted the first article about it. Now, turn the angle of your footage. Go deeper on a subject within your story: e.g. streetart, museum, food - whatever. Play with it using mindmaps or researching available materials.


 

Blog Theme


Stories in your blog may or may not be related to one main theme. I would not worry about it at the beginning, rather focus on writing and following your curiousity. It is not about the content depth at the start nor about a common theme (great if you are a natural and have both ticked off - congratulations!), it is more about "there is no wrong", more about "it is YOURS", - the originality. The rest will fall in place as the time passes.


If you are following my posts, you may have noticed that my blog is written in memoirs style (romantic stories and adventures), some posts are informative &useful for travelling, and last but not least - the whole website is rich on pictures (one of my hobbies).


 

Post Scriptum


"We all have a story worth telling."

Tags: