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Writing: Things No One Told Me

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Writing: Things No One Told MePerhaps the bits of creative process I’m talking about today are unique to pansters (I doubt it) or so common that no one thinks to mention them (possible), or because everyone’s process is so different, I’m the only one that experiences these (doubtful).  There are aspects to the creative process that I find intriguing, frustrating, and necessary.

No one ever told me that I would go on binges of research, sensory input, a process of voracious feeding that encompasses everything from fine art to YouTube. In addition to the main line of research, tangential topics are also pursued with avid interest.  No one told me that the longer I neglected to balance the input of life and senses with the output of words, the more single-minded this pursuit would become until it would completely take over my waking hours for weeks on end.

No one ever told me that there would come a time in the creative process when I would put my pen down and not pick it up again for sometimes two or three weeks. I write every day, both on key board and by hand.  For it to stop and for there to be an almost secretive sense of hoarding words was a startling experience.  It certainly doesn’t fit in with what I believe about producing on a regular basis whether I feel like it or not. This weird little turn out in the road would stump me until it happened three or four times and then just became an acknowledged part of my process. When I start hoarding words and desiring to clean the whole house, it’s time to clear my schedule.  A novel is coming.

No one ever told me that sometimes I would be overly emotional for no reason and, in turning to my journal for relief, would find myself writing a story just a few paragraphs into a normal entry—and that it would not stop until it was finished. These are usually the most poignant bits of flash fiction, essay, and short story I’ve written to date, and complete surprises. I had no idea . . .

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