Monday, December 14, 2020

Ai Jiang : My Writing Day


My writing day starts before the sun comes up; when it's past 12 a.m., perhaps around 3 a.m., when my eyes are closed and my body is frozen, but my mind wanders and begins to write with a pen that marks but without ink that stays. Sometimes, I'll force myself up to jot down the thoughts for my next piece; sometimes, I let the ideas simmer past dawn, after the sun rises, until I awake fully usually around noon. And if I still remember the idea or the scene development, then I'll write it down.

Throughout the day, if I'm not writing, editing, or reading for the magazines that I'm a volunteer at, I can be found reading to learn more about the genres that I would like to write in. In between the writing, editing, and reading, I have a bad habit of constantly checking my Twitter and refreshing Submittable to see if any of my submissions had somehow changed to "In Progress" in the few seconds that I left it unchecked. Although there will usually be email notifications whenever something new has arrived in my inbox, I'll check it regardless several times during the day.

I think that on a typical writing day, I often do much more thinking than I do actual writing. But I realized that for the fiction pieces that I think about for longer periods before actually writing, they are much more refined. Yet, this is the opposite when I'm writing poetry which inspiration usually hits me randomly and fizzles out just as fast if I don't write it down right away.

Sometimes, when I'm overwhelmed by my uncompleted works, I attempt to relieve my stress by surfing Netflix for different T.V. series and movies that I can watch and write reviews on at a later time. Unfortunately, I'm quite the incompetent when it comes to cooking, so for meals I usually take-out food or my boyfriend generously cooks for the both of us when he is not as busy with his own work. Generally, I end only have one or two meals a day because of the late times I sleep and wake at.

          After I've written what I needed to for the day, I find it difficult to go back to it and begin the revision process for quite some time unless someone made it glaringly clear to me what I needed to fix. I think that I'm the kind of writer who needs a little nudge to see what exactly is working and what is not in my own work, although it is much easier to notice these things when looking at works by other writers. Self-editing, I think, is always the hardest part. 

By the end of the day, I jot down my reading, writing, and editing plans for the next day in my overly decorated planner, which I sometimes may or may not look at the following day. I'll sit in front of my workspace, writing down future writing ideas on an excessive amount of sticky notes, or in my reading corner attempting to both plough through, but also practice slow ways of reading, the books on my reading list.




Ai Jiang (@AiJiang_) is a Chinese-Canadian writer. She graduated with a BA in Literature from the University of Toronto and is a current student at the Humber School for Writers. She is a columnist for Maudlin House and writes and edits for Velvet Field Magazine, and also reads for Strange Horizons. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Maudlin House, Haunted Waters Press, Beyond Words Magazine, and elsewhere. Find her online at

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