Seven years ago if someone had posed the question, “would you like to know more about the writing process,” my answer would have most likely been muffled by my yawn. Hmm…. Maybe I’d rather do something, anything, else. Writing? Nope, not me, I’m more of a talker.
I’ve always had a creative itch, but only once do I remember the act of writing become the scratch (the research paper I did in college was much more enjoyable due to the process of researching rather than writing). Put new problem to solve in front of me. Spend time in my workshop. Not writing. Ugh… sit in front of a keyboard, or, god forbid, write with a paper and pen? Yuck.
Then life changed in its slowly evolving nature as it seems to always do. First a blog. Then writing a a book. Now working on a few different book ideas at once. The process has become intoxicating in many ways. Not for the sake of writing in of itself or as a way to become rich and famous, rather, it forces me to take time to walk through my thoughts and ideas. To go from a blank page to creating something means I must pause, think, consider, translate the abstract thought into a cohesive whole. As I write I am spending time alone focused on understanding myself in previously unexplored ways. It is a form of deep meditation, soothing while simultaneously discomforting and unsettling. Crazy, right?
Yesterday I was in between audiobooks so I opted to fire up a podcast I’d downloaded quite some time ago. Tim Ferriss had an interview I just HAD to listen to with one of my favorite authors. Neil Gaiman is definitively on my “Mount Rushmore” of writers and experiencing an insight into his mind was something I could not miss. The podcast and interview did not disappoint, the only knock on it was that it was only an hour when no less than 8 would have satisfied me.
What’s really been resonating in my thoughts over the past 24-ish hours was the insight into his writing process. Since I’ve started to enjoy the act of writing I am finding myself more and more fascinated with the ways in which authors ply their craft. There are technical aspects which are interesting, the timing, the rituals, the typing versus hand writing. So many various ways to actually write and create.
Even more fascinating is the thought process, the creation, the ideation process. Start with a simple thought and write straight through. Start in the middle of the story and then work backwards and forwards. Create an outline as a skeleton and then add the flesh. Start an idea, lock it up for months for “aging.” Start with a question. Start with a character. Start with a twist.
Additionally, it is interesting to hear how perfectly imperfectly human they each are. Start with fears of getting the idea right. Nervousness about making the first keystrokes which mar the perfection of a clean document. The impostor syndrome, the fear of their work not being worthy. In hearing and reading about each author I’m able to more strongly connect what I do with the craft they’ve turned into their livelihood. They suddenly go from being “authors” to “people,” and people I can relate to.
While I continue down my current path of writing I’m blessed to have access to so many interviews, notes, conversations, and stories with these folks who’ve found the joy in the craft I’m enjoying more and more.