I have a set schedule. I write at nine every day. Rain, shine, I commit to two hours of writing and deliver a finished piece. From sourcing and creating an image to the first draft, through multiple edits, a title, proof-reading, and scheduling a post, my timeline does not change. I find working with a rigid outline forces me into preconceived conclusions. But working without direction or a destination is a recipe for disaster. There is a delicate balance between writing without limits and writing with purpose.
Given too many choices and no expectations, I can’t decide, and my story goes nowhere. I need rules, constraints, guidelines, a theme, and a challenge. Restrictions like word counts, time limits, and themes create a puzzle to occupy my critical mind. Specific benchmarks quiet my inner censor, which allows my subconscious brain room to play.
The hardest part is getting started. I stutter and fumble with the first sentence as I sift through possibilities and eliminate the pieces that don’t belong to the story I am telling. As my fingers type, I settle into a rhythm. Words sing, my thoughts coalesce, and surprises happen. I relax, I let go of self-consciousness, and the tale emerges.
The finished piece needn’t be “good,” whatever that is. Sometimes I get lucky, and readers connect with the concepts. Those two sacred hours are the best part of my day. My practice keeps me sane and makes me happy. I won’t be giving it up anytime soon.
What is your writing process?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer