By coincidence, two friends talked to me about this lately: how we writers go about our writing, the way that we get it done. The process, the writer’s process. I was thinking that the short answer is a shrug: you do what you need to. But there is a comfort to having a system that works for you, specifically there is a comfort in that if you know you are always writing at the last minute and that always turns out okay, maybe you can stop beating yourself up about it now.
I can’t tell you my process. I can go on about the 5am starts (today was day 231 of that, by the way) but that’s less a process, more a stupidity. It’s 8:30 so now and I have written 1,200 words on one project, I have done a pile of emails about a couple of events I’m producing, I have drunk quite a lot of tea and gone through my To Do list. Including the stuff I found I’d done over the weekend, I ticked off about twenty items on that list. I think I probably only actually did six or seven of them this morning. But they’re done. And yet this isn’t a writing process, it’s a productivity one. Because it’s easier to be productive than it is to write anything down.
Maybe that’s my process: do everything else rather than write. It’s a rubbish process.
So I would like to find you a way to write that is efficient and quick and gets things done. But I haven’t found it because I can’t find it because I think the very notion is bollocks anyway. Not if the aim is to be efficient. If the aim is to explore your own writing and to end up having written instead of just thought about writing, that’s different.
One friend, Alex, says she’s still finding her system, her process. Then either by total chance or because we writers are all forever thinking about this stuff rather than actually writing, another pal, Ken, wrote a blog about it:
If there’s a point to this post. I think it’s this. I think there are lots of ways of writing and if you’re stuck staring at the notebook or the plotting software, consider letting it go for a while and just writing. Just write. See where you go and where you end up. Just don’t settle for what you write in that initial foray.
My Way is Not the Best Way but it’s Mine – Ken Armstrong Writing Stuff
He’s a smart guy, he writes very well and his blog was a key impetus in my making my own Self Distract be a weekly thing. Have a read of the whole piece, would you?