The redcurrant method
When I pick redcurrant, I am all over the place. I pick totally at random. Other pickers start at the first bush and systematically strip their way through to the last. They will start top left, pick to the right, down a notch and to the left, as if unknitting a sweater.
My picking method is symptomatic of the way I write. I jot down thoughts, then I start arranging and writing, Fragments grow into sentences, which I shuffle around until they click into place. I rephrase, add, delete, file, and polish. Then I delete some more.
For my blog, I have a dozen articles in progress. I jump from one to the other, writing a bit here, editing a bit there. I never know which story will be ready for publishing next. Each one matures at its own pace.
Tie my feet to the ground and I will stay with the first bush. I will start picking somewhere in the middle and let my hand frolic. Put a gun to my head and I will pick systematically. But why would you want to do that? My whole body will tremble, berries may fall out of my hands.
Give me a deadline, and I will work on one single text. I will not start with a title and work my way systematically down to the end, though. Put a gun to my head, and I will. But why would you want to do that? My brain will tremble and ideas and words may fall out of my head.
I am not a better picker nor a better writer than the systematic people, but when I am allowed to work in my own chaotic way, I am the best picker and the best writer I can be.
This text was originally written for an EDX MOOC assignment: “300 words on your writing process”.