Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

Where did those words come from? Why did you choose them?

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My son asked me a question much like the title of this post while he was watching me write some years ago. He was about seven or eight years old at the time, I think, and he really surprised me with such an unusual question. (He’s a grown man now, has an engineering degree, and works as a senior research scientist for a university. He’s always had a knack for unusual questions.)

I was typing (this was pre-computer) steadily away on an old electric typewriter. He walked up beside my desk and watched me for a few minutes without commenting. Then he pointed at the paper in the typewriter and asked, “Where did that come from?”

“What? Where did what come from?”
“That word. And that word. The whole sentence. Where did those words come from?”
“Uh, well. I guess they just sort of came from my mind.”
“But why those words? Who put them into your mind? How did you know to use them?”

I’ve been struggling with those questions since that day. As a writer, I really don’t know where the thoughts and words come from that travel from my brain through my fingertips to the keyboard and into the computer.

Do you? What are your thoughts on the “creative” part of the writing process? Are you able to explain it any better than I was/am? Tell us, please.
[tags]creative writing, word choices, writing process, writing and life, writing tips for garyspeer.com[/tags]

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