Writing Is Only One word at a Time

Writing is only one word at a time. It’s not a whole bunch of things happening at once. Various things can present themselves, but when you face the page, it’s a couple of words, and then a couple more words, and, if you’re lucky, a sentence or a paragraph. Because writing is linear, it must organize itself into this thin little stream that moves forward, which, if your mind is full of chaos, is quite reassuring. When I listen to music, especially symphonic music, there’s a huge number of sounds and resonances that come to me at the same time, and they must organize themselves and go into my head in an orderly way. For me to pick them apart is to turn them back into chaos. But when I look at writing, it’s all just one word at a time.