The Process

I had the pleasure of attending a Janet Burroway lecture this week. It would have been even better if I’d been on time.  For the second time this year, I had a time set in my mind that was a half hour off.  It’s correct in my calendar–both on the fridge and in my phone.  But, my stubborn brain didn’t bother looking it up.  I hope this is the time when I learn a lesson about scheduling.

Anyway, it’s always fascinating to hear about other author’s practices.  It amazes me how many ways there are to write and create.  My favorite quote of the night was, “Know thyself.”  You’ve got to love any kind of Shakespeare reference.  But, beyond that, the concept exactly nails down what I’ve been thinking about lately. 

As human beings, I think it’s natural for us to compare everything.  When I hear someone else’s writing philosophy or practice, I can’t help but hold it up against my own.  People who work like I do give me a nice, comforting feeling–they reinforce my inclinations.  Conversely, when I hear of someone who has every beat plotted before they put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing it all wrong.  How nice it would be to sit down and just execute what I’ve already worked out. That’s how I want to be! I forget, for a moment (or several moments), that every time I try to outline, my brain gets itchy. 

I had the pleasure of attending a Janet Burroway lecture this week. It would have been even better if I’d been on time. For the second time this year, I had a time set in my mind that was a half hour off. It’s correct in my calendar–both on the fridge and in my phone. But, my stubborn brain didn’t bother looking it up. I hope this is the time when I learn a lesson about scheduling.

Anyway, it’s always fascinating to hear about other author’s practices. It amazes me how many ways there are to write and create. My favorite quote of the night was, “Know thyself.” You’ve got to love any kind of Shakespeare reference. But, beyond that, the concept exactly nails down what I’ve been thinking about lately. 

As human beings, I think it’s natural for us to compare everything. When I hear someone else’s writing philosophy or practice, I can’t help but hold it up against my own. People who work like I do give me a nice, comforting feeling–they reinforce my inclinations. Conversely, when I hear of someone who has every beat plotted before they put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, I can’t help but wonder if I’m doing it all wrong. How nice it would be to sit down and just execute what I’ve already worked out. That’s how I want to be! I forget, for a moment (or several moments), that every time I try to outline, my brain gets itchy. Why are we sitting here making an outline? Let’s write. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to every method. And what works for me, works for me. Most importantly, it works. Discovering a process is really an exercise in acceptance. And everyone knows that life is so much better when living in acceptance. Now if I could just be the kind of person who confirms times in their calendar.

Why are we sitting here making an outline?  Let’s write. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to every method.  And what works for me, works for me.  Most importantly, it works.  Discovering a process is really an exercise in acceptance.  And everyone knows that life is so much better when living in acceptance. Now if I could just be the kind of person who confirms times in their calendar.

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