Writing: A Non-Process

(Scene: Early night in a public school. Chairs designed for children are arranged in a circle around a lone, dangling halogen light. Neatly groomed adults occupy the diminutive chairs, and avoid making eye contact. One particularly nervous looking lady checks the large analog clock hanging over the open door, and at the exact moment the second hand passes the twelve, calls the meeting to order.)

Leader: Good evening, everyone. Protocol dictates that our meetings begin at 7:00 PM, so no dawdling. Let’s begin.

Carla: Hi, my name is Carla. And I’m ritualistic. And sometimes, I don’t like it.

 

I am the kind of person that can’t sleep without brushing my teeth. I dry myself off after a shower exactly the same way every day, and can’t sleep without a soft t-shirt draped over my eyes to block out the light. I am a creature of habit. Most of the time, I enjoy having patterns and habits surrounding my days. I take comfort knowing that no matter what happens in my day, my bed will be made when I go to try and fall asleep. Occasionally, my habitual bent stifles my creativity. I can’t do something creative the same way every time.

I have intentionally not created a writing “process”. I like to think of it as a non-process. I have ideas, usually when I’m trying to sleep, and file them away to be mulled over. I think about them when I’m driving, when I’m doing dishes, and when my stress levels exceed a healthy level. I sit down and type them out when my idea feels fleshed out, and I write. I pour my words out, and then leave them for a day or two. I then re-read, make sure I’ve capitalized every reference to Husband-Man made, and ask him to read it. (He approves content related to him, and most of what I write involves him in some way.)

I read it again. And I check to make sure I’m being honest. Honest enough that Christ’s perfection is highlight and my weakness is not hidden. Because this blog is about being honest, and encouraging you all to be honest with yourselves as we think about the small and big things in our lives.

For some, this might be quite a set of steps to not be a “process”. But for an over planner like me, this is sheer anarchy.

And when I’m about to explode? I take my journal (this journal cover from Oberon keeps my plain black Moleskine looking inviting), and I “word vomit”. Not a pretty phrase? Good. Because it’s not a pretty process. I feel a particular sense of release when my prayers are written, when I can see them scrawled on a page and see the resolution to which I’m drawn at the end through Christ’s grace.

All of my processes are developing, because I’m a newbie at writing things for other’s eyes.

What does your creative writing process look like? I’m linking up worth Victoria’s Ramblings today to share with some other lovely folks about how we work, and I’d love to see how your process works!

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Writing: A Non-Process

  1. Catherine says:

    So interesting to see other people’s process. For some reason, I could never write in a journal, only on the computer. With one exception, write random ideas around a single theme in a story. Because of that I was able to write my children’s book (being self-published this year). For me, it’s all computer.

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    • Carla says:

      I enjoy writing on the computer when I want my work to be seen, because I love to edit it.
      But, when I type my innermost thoughts, I start to edit them. I’m more honest when I’m writing in pen and I can’t go back and change it. It seems illogical, but for me it works.
      It’s so interesting to see how other people write!

      Like

      • Catherine says:

        That’s cool and I understand that. My thoughts come out too raw and emotional charged when I write with pen and paper and I just want to destroy it (and I end up doing just that). I also have a fear of people reading my written…it’s nice that I’m the only one who uses my computer. 🙂

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    • Carla says:

      Heather, looking back at my experience as a reader, you’re very right. Even if it’s in a fantasy world, I believe that what the author is telling me is true in the setting of the story.

      Like

  2. illustrious says:

    I am the same way. I’m a bit unorganized in general but with important things like bills I have a non negotiable process. I always thought it was weird that I have no plan when it comes to writing. I just sit down and start. I’ve always been like that. Even in grade school when teachers were all about flow charts which completely screwed me up.

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