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Developing My Own Writing Process

A day or so ago I took a day off from writing. I didn't necessarily want to, but I knew there were some things I needed to figure out about where to take my characters in the story. I've been having problems with this on and off for awhile now. I'd be writing a scene and almost every time I got closer to the transition to the next, I would slow down or even stop. I'd sit mulling it over, wondering where my Main Character was supposed to go or do next.

Then on Tuesday, I can to a stuttering halt. My inner skeptic, if you recall from the last post, told me I was doing everything wrong and I should start over. Thankfully my lovely writing buddies stopped that in its tracks. I went to bed early, sat with my husband in the morning before he left for work, knowing that while I hadn't started over, I still couldn't keep going. Something was delaying me, a question I hadn't asked yet, a decision I still needed to make. It turned out there were at least two, if not three, ways the rest of the story could play out, I only needed to find the best way.

I'd been doing a touch of research on different ways to plot and outline, thinking it may help, but the ones I found felt... too structured. I needed an organic process that would still give me clear results, a way to see which was stronger. But as I attempted to type each one out, wrote them on a piece of paper, talked them out to my bewildered husband who couldn't keep up with my fast talking, I knew I wasn't getting anywhere. I was getting frustrated, depressed, and not a little disheartened.

So I went online to take my mind off the problem. I browsed the Apple.com productivity tools download page in boredom, sure there would be nothing to help me. Discouraged, I wasn't really paying too much attention - Apple really needs to make their searches more user friendly. But then a screenshot caught my eye. It was a very colorful tree, with boxes, and WORDS inside those boxes. Mind mapping. I downloaded a trial, tinkered with it, and before I knew it I'd mapped the two stronger ways I could go and found the third only took me a few scenes forward before getting lazy.

I'd found a part of my Writing Process. Every writer has one, and while some look similar from the outside its all very unique. Now I've found a way that works well for me. I couldn't be happier. I can finally write freer because I know where everyone is heading, I know the direction of the story and so I don't have to wonder what's next. I've been having problems with writing since then, but that's just because I forgot one of my medications. *oops*


  1. Diandra says:

    Glad you finally see how the story advances again. It is right - everyone has a different way of writing. Sometimes it is very difficult to get your way of writing and your way of organizing everything around (and about) the story to work together, but how you write is always the more important part of both. If you want to be a writer, you have got to write, as we all know... *sigh* (thinking of my main work which has been sitting untouched for tha last few weeks, while every day life has swallowed up my time and creativity is hiding under the bed, crying).

    Good luck!

  2. @Diandra Yeah, I write every day, even if its my 'day off'. Mainly, though, I personally think a writer can't find their process if they don't write. The process comes *through* the writing, and its the only way you can find the one that fits best.

    As for your main work, I suggest you tell Every Day Life to take a chill pill, drag Creativity out from under the bed sally forth!


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