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How do I crank?

Everybody has their own way that works for them. Somebody’s going to read this (oh, I hope they’re going to read this!) and say, “What, are you daft? That’s not the way to write!” And they would be right, of course…for themselves! In listening to podcasts, reading interviews, and talking with a few, I’ve found that writing methods, or How They Crank, is different from one person to the next.

Here’s how I crank: I bring a pen, a notebook and a 3-ring binder around with me wherever I go. They are always with me. When I get the chance, I whip one of those out and start writing. In the notebook I keep, well, notes. In the binder I keep the story I’m writing.

Typing is much faster. Why don’t I carry a small computer with me? I’m cheap or broke, take your pick. Why don’t I have a specific time for writing? I’m sure my personal indentation in the time/space continuum would collapse on itself and form a black hole if I tried to bring order to my day. Too much structure in a day already filled with waking, working out, driving, working, driving, spending quality time with Princess, studying, preparing talks for the congregation, the ministry, and meetings would hurt very, very much.

So, it’s like the illustration of the rocks and the sand. A guy has a jar that he wants to fill with rocks and sand. He starts by pouring in the sand, but when he tries to add the rocks, he can’t fit them all in. If the rocks are all the major things in life and the sand is the smaller things, the best strategy is to put in the rocks first, THEN to pour in the sand, which fills in all the spaces in between the rocks.

Family, faith, work are the large rocks. They are important and need to be fit in. All the other things in life are the sand. I’m not saying that writing is not important; it is. Especially for the creative person who needs to express himself. But, I’m just saying the way I crank plot is to fit my writing times into the spaces left by the big rocks. So my life is full, just like that jar.

Whoah, I got a little philosophical and preachy there. Sorry! You just wanted to know how I cranked? I’d like to know how YOU crank! Feel free to tell me in the comments below.

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