How I Write

Someone read my account of how I write and confessed she found it unbelievable, so I thought some readers might be interested in seeing a typical example.

I woke in the middle of the night with a few words forming in my mind. I knew that if I didnít jot them down they would soon fall out of my mind, never to be found again. So I got up and grabbed a scrap of printed paper that had some white space. The top four or five handwritten lines of what appears below is my first attempt. I ended up changing it so much that I decided to start afresh by copying it underneath in an easier-to-read form so that I could make further revisions.

If you think this is messy, you have no idea how lucky you are not being able to see the jumble in my brain.

(If you would like to change the size of this page, hold down the Control (Ctrl) key on your keyboard and move the scroll wheel on your mouse.)

The ďfinal versionĒ (Iíll be amazed if it does not undergo further revisions) starts in the center of the page. From there you need to follow lines and arrows in all directions because of various additions and changes to the sequence. It reads:

This is just average writing. Had I striven for excellence it would have undergone very many more revisions. I rarely write my first draft with a computer but after reading it over and over and over I eventually reach the stage where it is so muddled that I am anxious to transfer it to a computer, lest I forget what some of my scribble actually means or I overlook an addition Iíve squeezed in somewhere. Once it is on the computer I read it many more times (usually spread over weeks), further modifying it.