My attitude towards advice on writing process is like that of some people towards faith: Keep it to yourself.*
If I want to know what you think, I’ll ask. Pinkie swear.
But if I don’t ask, know that I’m wrestling with it all the same. I’m thinking it through. I’m learning. I’m reflecting and evaluating and growing. I’m figuring it out.
I’ve got to, because it’s my process.
You’ve got to figure out your process, because it’s yours.
Writing is such a personal, individual act of creation, how can anyone tell me how to do mine? How I should do mine? How can I tell anyone how to do theirs?
No one should be telling us we’re doing it wrong.
Or make us feel that way.
Even if it’s taking longer than their process.
Even if it looks horribly painful.
Even if they don’t understand it.
Even if they’ve never heard of anyone ever doing it like that before.
Even if …
Do they really think there is a “right” way? Really?
Saying “don’t do this; just do this,” is rarely, if ever, helpful.
Saying “this is how I do it,” might be helpful.
Saying “discover it for yourself,” will be helpful.
And once you’ve discovered it, accept it. Like it. Love it.
And write by it.
*This blog post brought to you by the existence of one too many “Don’t edit as you write – JUST WRITE” remarks in the world.