Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's in Your Writing Process?

Readers send me questions from time to time. Here's one about my writing process -

Baddestbadass asked:

I guess as someone that has great procrastination tendencies, I wonder how the process of writing a book is for different people. For you is it something you start when other parts of your life are quiet and you hibernate til it's done, or do you write whenever you can...? what is your writing process like and do you have specific writing rituals?

Looking forward to reading your new stuff.


Mohamed's answer:

Dear Baddest Badass,

Considering your name, I think it best that I indulge your question with a quick answer…or else pay a heavy price (smile).

I can relate with great procrastination. When my tenth grade English teacher (Mr. Green) asked what I wanted to be, I said, “Writer.” Thirty years later, I’m finally writing. Now that’s procrastination!

My writing process is non-process. I like to open my mind and let ideas flow; I put the ideas into words and then move the words around to create themes. Some work. Some don’t. I throw out what doesn’t work; I nurse what does.

I write because I have to, so I MAKE the time to write and I consciously preserve my creative energies for imaginative composition. If I waited to write till my life was quiet, years from now they’d be burying a fellow who always said that he wanted to be a writer but who didn’t write.

“hibernate til it’s done,” you ask. I only wish! That’s indeed my fantasy, to write the great American novel ensconced in solid, delicious isolation…but then…fragments of real-world existence intrude on the fantasy, life’s incidentals, things like: work, bills, the wife, social obligations, maintaining personal health (physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual). I write in the middle of it all, despite it all.

No, I don’t have any writing rituals. The only “act” that counts is moving fingers on a keyboard. If that counts as ritual, that’s mine.

Thank you for reading my work. And please don’t give up on writing. It’s an opportunity to create art. We are at no time closer to Creator than when we ourselves are creating, than when we passionately tap the gifts of our own artistic expressiveness.

Take care, my friend!



  1. Yeah, I don't really have a ritual either. I just write when I have a moment, but the problem is those moments are hard to find in my busy life!

  2. I bet, Lydia! Between a medical practice, a family and the demands of everyday life, I don't know how you manage it all. Still - here's hoping you'll squeeze in some quality time writing this weekend!