October 6th, 2009

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Writing Process: What works for you


cross-posted from http://blog.cherylreneeherbsman.com

One of the subjects writers are frequently asked about in interviews is their writing process. I ask about it when I interview authors. Why are we so interested? 

For me, I think it's because writing seems like magic and I'm curious about how other people find their way to that magic. And writing seems to come from such different places for different people. For some it's linear -- outlines and character arcs and plot points. For others it's more organic -- getting quiet, listening, seeing what comes. Some writers need to be out in the world, immersed in the white noise of a busy cafe or listening to music. Others need solitude and silence. Some can work in both environments. 

When it comes to finding your own process, try everything that appeals to you. See what works. I love the idea of working in a cafe. But I can't do it. It's too distracting. When I write, I go someplace inside that's deep and different. I open the home of my body to the soul of a character. I let them inside so I can feel who they are and speak their words. I can't do that in a place that's busy. I feel too vulnerable, overwhelmed by the noise and busyness. For me, it has to be silence and solitude. I hate outlines, they make me feel constrained. But other writers swear by them. So try it both ways. Thankfully, there is no right or wrong when it comes to writing process. Try different techniques, spaces, atmospheres until you find the one that works best for you. And then know that you are lucky to have found it.

Happy writing!