I’m coming to accept that the process of writing is highly individual. I knew this when I started my novel, but as I often do when learning something new, I doubted my own convictions. Or questioned them at least. During the creative process, I question everything.
The way I learn is similar to the way I shop. I’m voracious about research, taking in as much information as I can. I break everything down to the detail level, then compare options and combinations of options. It gets overwhelming.
At some point, I have to step away. (Could I be more judicious and plan to step away before I get overwhelmed? It would make a lot more sense, that’s for sure.) Stepping away gives me enough distance to look back with discernment. What’s important to me? What fills my particular needs?
For some reason, even if my instincts are guiding me in a certain direction, I won’t trust my instincts until they’re backed up by detailed research.
Learning to write a novel and developing a writing process for it, has taken me through cycles of research and experimentation. Right now I’m feeling the need to step back. I have taken in hundreds of AuthorTube videos, writing podcasts, blog posts, essays, and books. I’ve heard standard advice, then heard it refuted. I’ve looked into the processes of many writers—each one is different. When I sit down to write (should I stand instead? get a treadmill for my desk?), there is a lot of noise around my choices.
Do I do Pomodoro sprints or write for three solid hours? Do I edit one chapter at a time, or go through the entire manuscript looking for a specific problem? Should I take naps when I’m tired? (Right now, I really want a nap.) Do I focus the revision on character development or worldbuilding? Do I count words or track my time? (And how do you count words when you’re revising?) Do I set challenging deadlines or go at whatever pace comes naturally?
Like I said, a lot of noise. I need to quiet down, settle in, and trust my own personal process.
As soon as I watch one more video…