I love to write. I’ve been musing lately about how much I enjoy the process of writing and how often it becomes warped into something strained and exhausting by famous interpretations.
There’s a famous quote attributed to Dorothy Parker, “I hate writing, but I love having written.” While I can relate to this quote on some level, (I looooove having written) the truth is, I love the writing process.
I love to write. I love having written. What I hate is the process of thinking about writing. Once I sit down and begin, I love it, (as long as I’m not under a really tight deadline). To me, this says that I’ve picked the right career. Being a writer is one of those things that makes me understand faith.
Having faith is most often attributed to religion and spirituality, but I think that having faith in oneself, one’s abilities, and faith in the future are a big part of the writing process.
To be a writer, you must have faith. Faith that your amazing ideas will come to life for your reader. Because often, when you start, the writing process can be frustrating. You may have this amazing and clear idea in your head. But getting it into writing with the same clarity can be difficult.
Understanding the Logic of Writing
When you are learning to write, or just writing, whether it be for professional or personal reasons, you must understand certain logic about writing. There are two things you must understand in order to love the process of writing.
One. Writing is a brain process. There is a creative logic to it that if you understand, you can learn to love the process of writing. The process of writing almost always starts out as a big puddle. When you are done, it’s a bright, clear path. That’s how it always starts. And when you are successful, how it ends.
Two: It never gets easier. It takes time.
It’s a rare writer that can consistently just sit down and pound away and churn out gold. While, I can write on demand (had to when working as a journalist), and have even churned out the occasional gold this way, more often my best writing comes from sitting down and working on something multiple times. Whether it be over the course of a day or a few days, or even longer, writing something well takes multiple fresh reads.
If you understand these things and integrate them into your writing process, then you may begin to love the act of writing, as I do.
How My Writing Process Works
For me, each time I sit down to write a new piece, I start with a big mental jumble. There are words and ideas floating around inside my brain. My process begins by grabbing some of those words and typing them out onto my screen. It’s rarely pretty or fabulous. It’s often boring and bland. I know this about my process and I don’t fear that part anymore. Because I know that I can make it prettier when I’m into the more fun part of editing.
I rarely know exactly what I want to say when I start to write. But to take those words and tame them, put them into a blog post or a paragraph in a document is where I start.
My writing process comes in three stages. That is the first stage.
The second stage is adding information. As the words dance in my head, I know that I must form them into a cohesive structure. That is where editing comes in.
When you start writing, you must first corral the words. Then in the editing process you can tame them.
The other stage is the waiting. In between writing and editing, I wait. I wait to let the idea settle before I edit. This is where taking time is important. It doesn’t have to be a long time. Just long enough to get fresh eyes on it. It can be as short as eating lunch in between, or as long as a day or two.
It Isn’t Really That Simple
Sure, I know I made it sound simple. Of course, it isn’t. I pull my hair out from time to time. The hair pulling came a lot more in the early days. Now, my biggest problem is finding the time to sit down and write things I enjoy writing rather than things I must write. Because you know, I love to write. And I don’t want to lose that.