I believe anyone can be a writer, at least on a basic level. Like any skill, it just requires a lot of practice and the ability to comprehend the process. To demystify writing, I'm going to be periodically putting up a series of posts called The Writer's Workshop. While I do write professionally, what I'll usually do is ask some friends of mine who put pen to parchment (or fingers to keyboard) for a living about the writing process through a question. This week's question is - how does writing make you feel?
This is a bit of a touchy-feely question to be sure, but one of the best ways to understand writing is to be in control of how you feel when you do it. I think some of the responses from the people I asked this question to will surprise you.
Joe Sinicki (Games Editor, Blast Magazine) - When I start to write, I feel like I'm schizophrenic in a way. I've got all of these ideas in my head and they often merge into a giant puddle of words and thoughts until I finally get a chance to sit down and let them spill out.
That being said, I kind of look at writing as a bit of a puzzle, and it's really rewarding to solve it -- ie, when I finish. But thats the thing, even when I step away from a piece, it never really feels finished.
Jay Lopez (Senior Games Editor, Byte.com) - I've always loved informing and sharing information. I also love the creative process. There's something about taking letters to form words, taking words to form sentences, then again taking those sentences to form paragraphs that I have always enjoyed.
And while this may sound incredibly stupid to some, something has always fascinated me about written language. The fact that I am typing this all out on a screen and that it will somehow be decoded by other human brains to translate a thought, feeling or idea is awesome to me. But reading and writing are so common that we think nothing of it. Say what you want, but it really does blow my mind when I stop to think about it. As for writing about games, it's just something I enjoy doing.
Robert Workman (Freelance Writer, Gamerlivetv, Planetxbox360.com) - Being able to express myself through writing is kind of a freedom, actually. It really lets me get my thoughts off my chest, sometimes being a little too frank at times (hey, that's the business). But it's an outlet that very few people seem to get the grasp of, as most of them simply accept the terms of their job, whatever they may be. Me, I buckle down and do my thing, and I do it my way, and then look for feedback to see what others have to say about it, whether they agree or disagree. It can get a little tiring when you have multiple articles to write in a day, but that just adds to the challenge of staying unique. And free, obviously.
Terry - Writing brings up a number of conflicting emotions. When I start writing I'm actually nervous. Overcoming the fear of writing is part of the challenge that I enjoy most. I'm scared that I won't start the right way, which for me leads to the flow and feel for the rest of the piece. I also always try to write with humor, so I will read and reread what I've written to add as much figurative language and pop culture references as I can. It's just my style. When I'm done however, I feel fantastic. I have a real sense of accomplishment. There are few things that feel better than creating something from nothing.