Writing As You Go

"Flogging the Freelancer" is a blog post a day about freelancing in the gig economy. Browse the archives here.

I've been in Chicago -- butt cheek-clenchingly cold -- for a few days and took the opportunity to do a couple stories while I'm here.

Both pieces rely heavily on deeply sensory experiences, which I find particularly challenging to write about, especially days or even weeks after the fact. You stare at your notes and search for the proper way to resurrect a since-faded feeling. How do you describe what something tastes like, smells like? No easy task. 

For the second story that I worked on, I tried writing the piece while it was happening, on my iPhone. It was a bit of a challenge to construct prose on the fly, but it forced me to better track action as it happened -- and, maybe, better capture sensory responses as they surfaced.

It definitely made me more conspicuous, which isn't ideal for someone whose usually strategy is to assume the pattern of the wallpaper. I had to hide my phone from prying eyes several times. I'd like to do more writing like this. I enjoyed the spiritedness of words generated in medias res. 

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