How I Write:
Here is a quote from Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut:
“Tellers of stories with ink or paper, not that they matter anymore, have been either swoopers or bashers. Swoopers write a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crancum, any which way. Then they go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work. Bashers go one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before they go on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done. I’m a basher. Most men are bashers, and most women are swoopers.”
I’m a basher, too. Sometimes I think I need to write faster. I am pretty good at math, and I calculate that if I were to write a page a day, I would write 365 pages in a normal year (not a leap year, that is), but if I wrote two pages a day, I would produce twice as much. No telling how much I’d produce if I wrote three pages a day (these last two sentences are my attempt at being humorous!).
There is something else: I am writing (now) in English, but I was born with Romanian. So English is an “acquired taste.” I find myself wondering how I would write in Romanian. If I remember correctly, before I came to the States, when I wrote in Romanian, I was faster, more careless — I cared less. I was less careful, less controlled, and I made fewer mistakes. I was sure of myself. In English, I am not. Even to this day, when I read a book in Romanian I “enter it” right away. In English, unless I like the book a lot, it feels like I read it from the outside. From a distance. I tell myself that great authors are those who write so well that in reading them I forget they write in English and I immerse myself in their book.
So my purpose today is to uncork myself. To let myself be. Flow. Become a swooper.