Each writer has similarities and differences in their own writing process. I, personally, spend hours reading about the writing processes of others, choosing ideas I like and trying them out to create my own blended version and seeking that “sweet spot” to creativity. I haven’t found it yet, of course, but I am slowly finding ways to describe my process. That, by itself, seems very reassuring. If you can identify something you can know it.
Don’t be mistaken, I don’t think my personal writing process is controllable. I doubt I’ll ever be the writer who can make and meet goals of 10,000 words/day, or 10 pages/day, or 1 hour/day even. My creativity and intuition don’t work like that – at least not yet. I can see the value in this discipline, so I’m not poo-pooing it in the slightest. It makes sense for those whose creativity is their livelihood. I’m not there (yet), and that’s ok. I don’t beat up my muse, or creativity, or intuition over this and so I refuse to beat up myself – the conduit to those things. I encourage you, too, to be kinder to yourself if you find yourself making and failing to meet writing goals like the ones outlined above.
My writing process feels like I’m a collector of things: bits and pieces, phrases, thoughts, images… And I curate them to complete a puzzle. I like this, it feels natural and unforced. When I have a single moment of inspiration, I log it and put it away for whenever I may need it again. The main issue with this is I have no organization to said log.
It’s almost as though I hide these pieces in numerous places: my planner, my journals (of which I have three, with no theme or dedication to a particular idea), notes in my phone, index cards in a drawer next to me desk… It’s hard to complete a puzzle when I’m hiding pieces from myself.
However, this reminds me of a friend who did a similar thing with money. Every time she’d come into extra cash, a $5 or a $10 bill, she’d hide it from herself in pockets, drawers, etc… So she’d be surprised when she’d find them again.
Maybe I’m just trying to find a way surprise myself.
Whatever the reason I do this, I still think the most valuable thing here is to be able to define your process… Even if it’s as unorganized as mine. It’s even better if you can define it in one or two sentences. I encourage you to give it a try. “Whatever is mentionable can be more manageable.” – Mr. Rogers