So, what exactly is a writing process? Isn’t it just the process of sitting your butt down and writing?
But, for those writers who look at it as more than that, it’s not entirely that simple.
For many writers, including myself, writing can be the most difficult part of their day. I know it shouldn’t be that way since, you know, they’re writers, but reality is a funky, cruel type of thing.
The trick is, for these people, to find the best type of reality for their writing. What kick starts their creativity? What calms them down? What keeps them from focusing on everything but putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard?
It’s different for every person, I know that. I’ve read enough blog posts trying to stimulate my own writing process to know that for some writers, things that help them are those exact things that hinder me.
Or, maybe, you want to draw on an inkling you have that you could be a writer. Maybe you want to start, but you don’t know how? Maybe you need to develop a writing process from scratch? If that’s you, then maybe you should skip down to step 3.
So you have to look into yourself. And how do you that, exactly? Well, I have steps below that will hopefully help!
You have to think back to those times or days where writing was effortless, where the words came out of you with nothing holding them back. If you consider yourself a writer, more likely than not you can remember one of these times. If not, if writing was never that way for you, then you’re a lot stronger than I am. If writing was always a struggle for me, I’d probably hate it and never want to do it again.
But anyway, once you have your memory, use the following steps to dissect it.
2.Remember Small Details
It could be the tiniest, most insignificant part of your memory. That’s the should-be-funny-but-actually-cruel part of all of this. The writers I’ve come across, the writer I know myself to be, are a little bit loony in the head. And all it takes is one thing to be off to ruin the entire writing session.
Did you have music playing, or did you need complete silence?
Did you have a notebook near by? Or do you much prefer sticking only to the computer?
Did you have a candle burning, a specific essential oil blend in your diffuser?
Did you have coffee by your side? Or a glass of wine?
What time of day was it? Early morning, midday, or late at night?
All these small things could have the largest impact. So get to thinking. What helped, and what hindered?
3.Trial & Error
Are you starting to have any ideas from remembering past experiences? Or are you starting out this writing thing fresh and pure? If so, this is the most frustrating part. So have fun.
Either using parts of your memory you’ve pinpointed or random inklings of what may help you, start trying. It’s gruesome and it’s frustrating, but it’s something you have to do.
Try writing several different ways. Try writing in your bedroom, at a desk, on the sofa, at the kitchen table. Try writing with a cup of coffee, or tea, or a large class of wine. Try writing in silence, try listening to a Hans Zimmer Pandora Station (a random trick I saw on Pinterest). Try writing early in the morning, or when the sun’s at its highest point, or when it’s late at night and everyone else is asleep.
There are millions of things that could cause your writing to be harder than it needs to be, and it’s up to you to figure it out.
Me? My best writing has always been super early in the morning, with a large mug of coffee by my side, and a peppermint/orange essential oil mix running through my diffuser (you can find my favorites here). It’s also always when I have something else I should be doing, which is why it’s a damn miracle I didn’t flunk through my senior year of college since that’s when I was writing “Back to You“.
Like I mentioned before, your mind is a fickle, mean thing. Most likely, you’re not going to like its ideal environment for your best writing.
4.Give All Your Power to Your Process
What the hell does this mean?
It means you need to relinquish any stubbornness, any hesitations you have, to your writing. As weird as that may sound, you have to give your writing process your priority. At least when it’s writing time. My biggest hurdle to get over is tempting myself with thoughts like, “Oh, but if your kitchen’s clean then you won’t have that hanging over your head”. Then I’ll clean the kitchen, and be too exhausted afterward to get anything else done.
YOU CANNOT DO THAT.
It doesn’t take every creative fiber of your mind to clean the kitchen, or walk the dog, or meal prep for the upcoming week. But it does take all of that to get any writing done. You can do all of those things at any time (for the most part), but writing is not like that.
It’s stubborn and irritating, but getting it right is the best feeling in the world.
You have to indulge in it.
5.Just Freaking Write, Already
Just do it. Sit your ass down, get your environment right, and write. There’s nothing more to it. You can’t utilize your best process if you don’t make yourself do so, so your willpower does have to factor in. Stop making excuses, stop making funny faces at your dog, and get to work.
The best way to be a writer is to write.
It’s that simple.
There’s no hidden trick, no exact formula, that makes your writing easy. Writing is difficult and it’s painful and it can be the hardest part of your day, but if you’re a writer then there’s no better struggle to have.
These steps are to make the most of your writing process, but you can’t do that if there’s no writing process to make the most of.
I hope these steps can help some people out! I know it’s far more difficult than 5 steps, and I struggle with forcing myself to write every single day. But the outcome, getting those perfect 100 or 1000 words, makes everything worth it.
So what’s your writing process? What’s your environment have to be like? I told you mine, but I’d love to know yours! Leave it in the comments down below.