Yesterday, as I was laying around thinking, my imagination entered my thoughts and introduced me to Arthur, a troubled writer who was experiencing a bout of writer’s block. He wanted to know how I stayed immuned to this deadly disease. So, he asked me some questions about my writing style because he was having trouble getting into the groove. The following is what we discussed.
Arthur: Mary, please, tell me your secret to writing?
Mary: It’s not really a secret, I just don’t think when I write. Especially the first draft.
Arthur: What do you mean, don’t think?
Mary: I sit down and write. Whatever comes out, comes out. Now, this might not be for everybody, because each writer has their own style and voice, but this is what works for me, and I’ve never had writers block.
Arthur: So, metaphorically speaking, you’ve never held a gun to your head?
Mary: Not because of writing! But that’s another story in itself. Let’s get through the original question first. How do I write? The title usually comes to me first and then the idea arrives as I ponder for a while. Then, when I feel like I’m ready, I re-ribbon my 1921 Underwood typewriter and for a month, I sit down every day and write a paragraph.
Arthur: What do you write about?
Mary: Anything that comes to my mind.
Arthur: And you do this, every day, for a month?
Mary: Yup, I consider it as getting back in shape, starting a disciplined routine.
Arthur: Kind of like an athlete?
Mary: Or a musician getting ready for a concert, or a painter prepping their palette. It’s about getting the mind-set in order.
Arthur: Then what?
Mary: I start to write. I usually write every day for ninety days, and depending on how much time I have, I produce 3, 6, or 9 pages a day. I choose how many and that is all I write for those ninety days. No more, no less. It’s all free thought for the first draft. I never stop and look at what I write, I do no editing, a lot of times, I don’t even know what’s come out. Then, after the time is up, I put the draft away for six weeks.
Arthur: That’s it?
Arthur: Sounds simple enough!
Mary: Good, let me know how it goes, and if you’re interested, next time we can talk about rewrites.
So, for now readers and writers, I bid you farewell till the next interview.
Mary Maurice wrote her first poem when she was in the ninth grade, and hasn't stopped writing since. Catching the fire at an early age, she continues to dedicate her time to the craft.