Thinking, Patiently

“I’m repeatedly asked how I write, what my “process” is. My answer is simple: I think patiently, trying out sentences in my head. That is the root of it. What happens on paper or at the keyboard is only distantly connected. The virtue of working this way is that circumstances — time, place, tools — make no difference whatsoever. All I need is my head. All I need is the moments I have.

There’s no magic here. Practice these things, and you’ll stop fearing what happens when it’s time to make sentences worth inscribing. You’ll no longer feel as though a sentence is a glandular secretion from some cranial inkwell that’s always on the verge of drying up. You won’t be able to say precisely where sentences come from — there is no where there — but you’ll know how to wait patiently as they emerge and untangle themselves. You’ll discover the most important thing your education left out: how to trust and value your own thinking. And you’ll also discover one of things writing is for: pleasure.”

Where Do Sentences Come From?, Verlyn Klinkenborg


Wow, that’s an interesting quote by Klinkenborg, fellow Stuart. I’ve found that I have two modes in writing, and when drafting, it’s good for me to turn this ‘sentence trying’ mode off. During editing, however, is where this method applies, and Klinkenborg describes it so well!

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