Sometimes writers will talk about process.
They will describe their process very specifically sometimes.
Here are some random things I have heard writers say:
“I always create an outline”
“I never create an outline”
“I write the last scene first I have to know where I am going”
“I never know where I am going, I just start writing and see where it takes me.
“I start writing about myself and then gradually get farther and farther away from myself.
“I start with total imaginary characters and then gradually get closer and closer to myself”
Ok. So what’s my process?
I usually say that my approach to writing is organic,and intuitive.
But lately I have been thinking that this might be just another way of saying–
I have no process that I am aware of and actually–
I am totally and completely haphazard unfocused and undisciplined.
Maybe it’s time I get more specific about my own process.
A process should lead to something right?
That’s why it’s a process.
My so called intuitive and organic writing process
doesn’t seem to lead to much writing.
I know that I want to write. I love to write. I need to write.
But often I don’t write.
The only way I actually write is when I have a deadline or some other kind of
external structure that snaps me to attention.
More than anything deadlines and commitments keep me on task.
Maybe a looming deadline that terrifies me into doing the work is my process.
I know that fear stops me from working–maybe it kicks my ass too.
Late last fall I was invited to be in a group with other playwrights
who were writing and producing their own plays in the The Fringe Festival.
For three months I wrote every day and came up with a finished draft.
Then for another three months I wrote another draft.
THen for two months I tweaked and trimmed and tweazed until I had a draft
that the director liked. THen we went in rehearsal and then the play was performed.
Deadlines and external structure made me do the work.
The desire to get my work done made me confront my fear but the fear of looming deadlines
and being ready with a play on time kept me going and maybe this is what fear is for.
I might put in an application to the Fringe just to kick my butt into writing another play.
Or perhaps it’s another kind of deadline that I have to find for myself now that I have
done that I might need a new adventure. I am not sure.
I wish I didn’t have to scare myself to be motivated.
Anyway at least I am thinking about this and hey I am writing about it so
there you go. The fact that I created this damn blog and then had trouble posting in it
kind of forced me to put something in it just because it was there waiting for me.
Maybe I just have to accept that my process is to scare the shit out of myself.
My art thrives on a little adrenaline and the possibility of humiliation.
To be continued.