Spring is here, spring is here (oh please oh please oh please)! And that means one of my favorite parts of the year: no more snow so I can drive normally. Woohoo.

As I cruised the roads of Ames with my sunroof open for the first time in months, I realized I write like I drive. I’m one of those people with a bad sense of direction, so I like to have the route planned in advance and get in the correct lane miles before the turn. But that doesn’t mean I won’t look around and enjoy the ride. When writing, I have to have the goal in mind, either a plot point to reach or a character detail to reveal. I can go off on a tangent, but always have my mind on where I need to end up.

I also like driving fast, with windows down and loud music playing (poor husband, he’s not used to such things). When I get into the groove writing, I blaze ahead, bopping my head to (often) imaginary music. The ride is way more fun when you don’t have to watch out for slippery spots of ice.

Although, sometimes, being forced to take it slow and pay attention has its advantages. So maybe writing first drafts are like driving on the first sunny day of spring: windows down, taking corners fast, speeding up for yellow lights (not that I do that). And revisions are like driving during winter: examining every stretch of road for inconsistency, going slow and looking ahead. Both will get you to your destination, just with different mindsets.

Do you write like you drive?

Advertisements