To me writing is a way to explore both my inner and the outer world as well as their relation. It is a door not only to my own perception but also of the characters I am writing about. As I take their perspective I enter their minds and experience their thoughts and feelings, and so does the reader, if I do a good job.
Melody and rhythm of language is extremely important to me. Finding the right tone for a character and their story is essential for developing the athmosphere of a novel.
I see the scenes I'm writing literally before my mind's eye, like on a screen, so I guess my lifelong love for the pictures has been a big influence.
I am not much of a planner in writing. I start with a very rough idea, a small scene, an observation, sometimes with a single sentence that leads me into the text. It's like throwing a ball of wool in front of me that immediately starts to unroll itself and I have to keep it rolling, following the thread.
In writing poetry or song lyrics my approach is even more improvisational. It's like remembering a dream, circling around something intangible I try to wrap into words to catch hold of it.
"I can't put these things into words/ might as well put some beans/ in a hollow gourd and shake it."