By Mark Antony Rossi
I began this article with the unique and personal premise of sharing my experience of exclusively working with a note pad application on my smart phone. By the end of 2016 I have written thirty-four columns without the use of pen and paper. Thirty-two years later it’s healthy and useful to review how and when my writing routines were established and the changes along the way.
I admit these admissions are not groundbreaking events of historic or literary value. Yet the introduction of word processors and recently smart phones have created new writing platforms altering our lives and therefore our writing routines. They have definitely had a major impact of my writing life and I’m the guy often skeptical about technology in general.
My writing was born in 1984 while serving in the US Air Force. I often wrote down ideas, notes and whole paragraphs on scraps of paper. Later in the evening I laid out the scraps on a yellow pad and started writing further with a pen on that same note pad until I learned how to type proficiently which ironies of all ironies came about in the military.
I discovered the initial literary framework could be sketched out on pad and later typed on IBM Selectric and edited as typed and then later marked-up by pen and retyped into a draft. And retyped again and again until you form the final draft. This process shaped a writing routine I developed that eventually turned into a creative channel.
I’ve always been fascinated by various writing routines and how they impacted creativity or if they impacted creativity. It seems after years of curiosity about the subject I settled on the theory that platforms have less to do with creative channeling and writers benefit more from merely building a consistent or proven writing routine. Far too many writers from Tolkien to Huxley downplay or angrily refute the emotional state of the writer as a source of creative genesis. But even Poe found solace in regularly rewriting his works.
If there is a metaphysical “muse” in the cosmos tapping our consciousness it is writers and artists whom are best suited to take advantage of the mysterious force if channeled through a zone, or routine, or ritual if you will, that provides enough internal quiet to receive fragments of inspiration we typically rush to recreate into something recognizable and hopefully original.