How long do we do a thing before we know our process? Running a meeting, training a dog, planting/harvesting a garden, making a pie, writing a book? This isn’t to say that once we know our process, we stop learning or trying something new. But how much “doing” has to happen before the confidence that comes from experience allows us to slip into flow? And once we understand the order of the steps, when might we need to deviate from them? If we change too many of the steps, is it still the same process?
So many questions have been floating around in my head this week. I’ve spent time with SG. I’m closer to finishing it. I also know the bits that will need to be altered before I’m satisfied with the story and the characters. I know my process as a writer. I’ve intentionally tried new steps, deleted some steps, checked on when the inner critic is louder than usual, and paid attention to my external circumstances and how that influences my process.
Maybe impatience has pulled up a seat at my creativity table. I write some pages, and I feel like I haven’t made much progress. I think about my previous stories and don’t recall feeling reluctant to sit with the spiral… to wonder how the story will be received… if doubt had occupied so much of my headspace. I know when it took years to get back to finishing Of Objects and Obsessions, it felt like my voice had changed, like I didn’t know the characters anymore. But I was compelled to finish the trilogy. I have ideas to finish all my series, but from some angles, my process is less of a flow and more like a Sisyphus.
My weekdays have been less conducive to writing. That is changing. I’m still pushing forward to complete this story ASAP. Beginning the next project, I’ll pay attention to my process. I know the steps that don’t work. I know that much of what “experts” suggest to finish a story don’t work for me because I don’t plot. I’ve tried it. It just doesn’t work with how I create. A tiny part of me is fearful that the muse has given up, packed her bags, and shipped off to parts unknown. I refuse to panic. I think there is more research to be done. Do you have a reliable process for something you do? Have you altered it? How did that go?