Why I Stopped Questioning My Own Writing Process #MondayBlogs

#Writer

I love experiencing what I call a writing epiphany. They’re not regular occurrences and I think this is what makes them so wonderful. Mine always seem to occur while I am in my little car on my way to work at around seven in the morning. This is the time of the day when my brain will be chewing over an aspect of my WIP or a writing issue and then it will make a shocking revelation. I will then whisper, ‘OMG’, squeal with delight as everything has suddenly made sense, babble about the epiphany to myself for a mile or so and then turn up my 80’s hits for a celebratory sing song. My day at work will then be a breeze. As I said above these are NOT regular occurrences!

Well, I had one of these moments a few weeks ago. I realised it was time to stop questioning my writing process because everyone has their own way of doing things. My writing process is unique to me and if it works for me than that’s ok.

My writing process does not sound like anyone else’s and this was causing me a lot of stress. I think my love of Instagram was contributing to my anxiety as a lot of people are sharing their writing processes and I am always comparing myself to others in some shape or form.

I know this sounds silly but when you are struggling with writing it is so easy to think…

‘I don’t think my writing process is working. It can’t be my draft which is at fault. My writing process is chaotic compared to the process [enter name of writer or author] uses. My goodness [enter name of writer or author] ‘s process makes so much sense! It’s logical, linear and doesn’t feel like…a creative hurricane. She looks so calm. If I adopted her writing process my draft would sound amazing and I would look calm too.’

A big shout out to all those writers who feel like their writing process can also be described as a creative hurricane!

So, I tried adopting the logical and linear processes of other writers. I bought the post it notes and the wall planners. I created beautiful spreadsheets and…I cried tears of frustration when my creativity dried up.

Here’s my creative hurricane writing process which has worked for me for years and it will make some of you twitch:

  • Spend time writing bits of the story in notebooks, scraps of paper, on receipts and word documents.
  • These bits are not in a logical order.
  • Realise all the bits actually piece together into something bigger.
  • Begin process of weaving bits until they are in the right order.
  • Get stuck a number of times and then realise that there are still some bits missing.
  • Realise I have more bits written than originally thought and I need to hunt for them in notebooks and on my laptop.

Now, this is the part which really boggles my blonde brain. Sometimes I find that the missing part of my story was actually written years ago and is in a notebook squirrelled away somewhere. Weird – huh?

I am no longer ashamed of my messy and chaotic writing process. It is unique to me and it works for me.

What I need to get better at is RECOGNISING that the chaos is PART of my process.

This is how my mind likes to work. Times of struggle for me are when I don’t realise that my story is in bits and I need to do some assembling.

We are all unique. We are all different. We all have different ways of doing things.

By all means try out the processes of other writers and if they work for you – great!

But if they don’t work for you, don’t stress.

You probably already have your own process which you haven’t acknowledged yet.

Please let me know how your writing process looks?

Thanks for reading my post.

I hope you have a fabulous day which includes an epiphany or two!

Posted by

Still waiting for the Sleepless in Seattle film sequel. Romcom Author. Book Blogger. Mum of teens. Owned by a golden Labrador.

31 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Questioning My Own Writing Process #MondayBlogs

  1. That sounds like a super important epiphany. I love how unique we all are.

    My writing process looks something like this.

    1) Spend six months plotting most amazing story ever on different coloured cards with mind-blowing character arcs, intricately interlaced plot lines, and the most perfect structure ever.

    2) Spend three months writing the first draft, following said plan.

    3) Realise story makes no sense. Pull apart and reassemble.

    4) Repeat step 3 up to ten times.

    5) Edit into literary masterpiece. Maybe.

    I have to postulate what happens at step 5, because I’m still stuck on step 4 at present. But I’m hopeful.

      1. Thanks! I’ll be more impressed with it myself when the final step comes together. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Amen to this, Sister! ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’œ
    I’ve always thought that it is hard to totally follow another writers creative process.
    I magpie ideas.
    Try them.
    Keep what works, and bin what doesn’t.
    Right now, mine is to jot down ideas into notebooks.
    Start typing.
    My writing has to be done linearly, but if I have an idea of something that might spur the story on later, write it down!
    Keep writing.
    Reread as I go.
    Keep writing.
    Also, it’s finding time to write that is an issue for me…
    But I’m hoping it will be less than twenty years for book two!!!

  3. Like you, my brain activity is chaotic but manage to get it to sort itself out with a lot of help from my notebooks. All I need to do, really, is write legibly and keep all notebooks in a safe findable place!

  4. I am totally and utterly chaotic such that I could not even describe my writing process. Being blind doesnโ€™t help as I canโ€™t write stuff down in notebooks as I would love to do. I used to but canโ€™t now, just do your own thing is what I say!

  5. Whatโ€™s really crazy is how your process is so similar to mine. I write things all over the placeโ€”phone, journal, computer. And Iโ€™m in the process of trying to write a memoir weave four storiesโ€”mine and my husbandโ€™s and our two kidsโ€™โ€”into one. I just stumbled across a journal from 2011 with some helpful lost and forgotten ideas. ๐Ÿ˜‚

      1. Iโ€™m not sure about fun. Mental illness and addiction are involved, but I hope to keep my sense of humor through it all. In the end, hope is the message. โ˜ฎ๏ธ

  6. I think you hit the nail on the head. We all have our different writing processes because Creatives are all different, well, duh, we’re all creative. My process is:
    1. Over-outline.
    2. Start writing.
    3. Get stuck and go back to outline and fix it.
    4. Start writing where I left off.

    I think I over-outline because I feel most creative when I know the boundaries of the story.

  7. This is so true, Lucy!! We are all unique in how we tackle the process. Iโ€™m still trying to figure out mine. I know thereโ€™s got to be a more efficient way than how I do it now, but I havenโ€™t cracked the code. Have a wonderful day. xo

  8. I love this.

    My steps are:
    1. Have an idea
    2. Percolate for a while (sometimes years)
    3. Percolate so much, I know how it will all come together in the end
    4. Write it linearly and intensively
    5. Step away from it while indulging in doubt that it is any good
    6. Do an editorial pass where I realise it is better and worse than I thought and I fix it
    7. Send it to someone trusted

    We are all different and we must do what works for us as artists.

  9. This really resonates with me, I’m constantly berating myself for my chaotic way of writing (or not writing.) I think about the story a lot, then write a frantic first draft in the three or four weeks before deadline. I’ve tried other ways, they don’t work, so am trying to accept this is what’s best for me!

  10. Reblogged this on Claire Plaisted – Author and commented:
    This is a great post. I sometimes pause and wonder what the heck I’m doing. I don’t think my chaos is like your’s though I have put together several drafts as one story… as you said…They fit. It was weird.

    Keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I certainly relate to this, especially the bit about driving. I get all my best ideas in my car so much so Iโ€™ve got a dictation gadget in there so I can record my ideas!

  12. Rounds of applause for your comments on the Writing Process.
    Each person writes their own way.
    Mine is a completely chaotic but between the characters and I, we get the job done.
    Thank you for your encouraging words.
    (I would reblog, but WP appears to be having one of its ‘turns’ again)

  13. I have been there, even went against my accepted method and tried detailed planning. It did work but was not the fun gained by just sitting down with a blank page and starting writing. Yes one day I figured out, “well that is just what you do and if people don’t like it? well then they don’t like it”. My method is not for everyone but it suits me. I enjoy the voyage of discovery (I know as little as the reader at any point in the story).
    Lol- before the long and extensive rewrites. My only bugbear.
    It is worth noting (for those of you that just start writing with no idea what is to come) my second successful novel started out as a dialogue exercise. I was simply given the starting word “What” and that became (eventually) “Twisted Sisters”

    Oh and it is worth noting that when I said “my Second successful novel” I meant successful for me, it sold a few thousand copies. Stephen King or JK Rowling would have been embarrassed by the lack of sales.

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