Friday, November 9, 2012

Writing Ritual - Paul Batista Guest Post 2

Guest post from Paul Batista


I hear this question many times.  And the answer is: "wherever, whenever, and by any means possible."

Here is just one example.  I have been a long-distance runner for many years.  I often take a hand-held voice recorder with me and dictate into it as I run.  I do get puzzled looks from fellow runners, but over the last few years as more and more people use cell phones all the time, even while running, I get fewer and fewer quizzical glances as I speak into a recorder. I'm blessed to have an assistant who doesn't mind typing from dictation, and I find that after a six mile run my dictation translates into four or five written pages. Listening to my panting, almost breathless voice on the tape could make you think I’m doing something other than running. Since I run in places as diverse as central park, long island, and whatever city I happen to be in, the answer to “where do you write?" is "all over the place."

As to "when do you write?" the answer is any time during the day when I can. I still practice law because I enjoy it, but it's demanding work.  There are times during the day when I can start or finish a scene in a new novel but those interludes don't last for more than fifteen minutes before I have to take a call or leave for court.  And I can even write when in court, because a judge often takes a long time before appearing on the bench, and that enables me to write while waiting rather than staring out the window.  A great deal of my writing happens in the quiet hours of the night.  I'm one of those people who'd rather write about intrigue than watch "CSI."  It would be nice to have the kind of routine some writers have   with a set schedule of writing from 8 to noon, as if it were a job.  I admire that discipline; I will say that on a day when I don't write I get that empty feeling that the day was not as well-spent as it could have been.

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