Note: A short time after I posted this, I realized I’d already published it here with a different title. I was going to take it down, but I received a comment or two immediately and decided to keep it up. In the interim, I had the opportunity to read an article about something very similar, which bears out — and says better and in more detail — what I was trying to express. The article can be found at NPR.com. Look for the title ‘In a Digital Chapter, Paper Notebooks are as Relevant as Ever’ from May 27, 2015. Be sure to read the comments, too!
Do you have or utilize different writing/creative processes for the different genres in which you write?
When I write poetry, for instance, I have to start and finish the first draft in longhand. Once I start refining a poem, I can do it on the computer – though it always seems better when I stick to pen and paper – but it always has to start with the physical process. The pen has to channel my images and thoughts onto paper. And I need silence. Lots and lots of silence, and no distractions.
When I write fiction, I usually start that same way, but then I can easily go to the computer or go back and forth between the two as I craft the final product. Again I need silence for this, but there can be the (very) occasional and short-lived distraction.
Creative non-fiction is the easiest to compose on the computer, for some reason. And I can work on something with other things going on around me.
I’ve always been intrigued at these differences. So here’s the question: How do you work best in your various genres and why?