10 Bullets on Writing Slowly

  • I believe in writing on a sentence and paragraph level. (I enjoy reading the same way in most cases, and what is a writer but a sponge?)
  • Yes, I want to be swept along by the story I am telling, and this is also my goal. Quite often writing slowly and being swept along are essentially the same thing. It is a fine feeling when this happens.
  • I edit as I write because I need to love my words in order to love the story.
  • I have to feel a sentence is publishable in that moment before I move on.
  • I am looking for a rhythm, both in sound and sight, the way words sound themselves out and the way they look together. This does not necessarily need to be poetic.
  • I hope for words that have been looking for each other, even if (sometimes especially if) they have been told they might not belong together.
  • But sometimes a sentence changes the shape of the one that came before it just as it speaks to the one that comes after. A sentence can be long and segmented, like a rhythmic worm, and the next sentence can be short and sharp as a spade that wants to sever the worm and its rhythm.
  • And so I have to feel a paragraph is publishable in that moment before I move on.
  • This makes killing my darlings more difficult later, but I find there are far fewer graves to dig.
  • I keep doing this over and over, keeping the larger story turned on over me like a light.

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