One of my main forms of procrastination is thinking about writing process. I spend lots of hours thinking about whether my writing process is the right process for me. I also spend lots of hours reading about other people’s writing processes.
As procrastination goes, not writing because I’m thinking about how to write is better than some but it’s still just wasted hours. Towards the end of 2010 I came to the conclusion that I needed to draw the explorations of writing process to an end and come to some conclusions. Let’s face it I’d have enough years of writing so there really isn’t any excuse for not knowing exactly what process suits me best.
I need a writing process that allows my "unique voice" to steer the writing. It’s great to know other writers tips, exercises, shortcuts and methods but they’re not writing my project, I am. Admittedly most of my writing process is taken (COUGH) -stolen- from other writers but I’ve adapted everything ever so slightly to suit my writing process. Most importantly I've stopped using processes simply because a writer I like uses that process. Yes, I might like them as a writer but that doesn't mean that something that works for them works for me. I have to start having more confidence in what I feel is right for me as a writer.
As I've started to work on my new projects this year I'm trying to stick to my process because;
1. I need to have a writing process that works for me. Obvious but needs to be stated,
2. I need to have a writing process that fits with how I write logistically. (i.e., lots of small writing sessions, gaps between writing days,
3. I need to have a writing process that allows who I am to be beneficial to the writing (i.e., I work best with limited time, I work best with a deadline, I like organisation, I work best when I multi-task),
4. I need to have a writing process that takes my flaws as a writer and allows them to be strengths (i.e., I overwrite, I overthink, I make things overly complex),
5. I need to have a writing process that works for all the different formats in which I write; Theatre, TV, Film and Radio. The constraints and strengths of each format might be different but the writing process should still be the same,
6. I need to accept my writing process and stop trying to fight it. I can’t sneak up on it, take shortcuts, fool it or force it to do something it doesn’t want to do,
7. I need to have a writing process that takes me through to final drafts of projects to ensure that I have a portfolio of completed specs,
Now admittedly this blog, and the ones that I plan to write to follow could be classed as procrastinating on process, but at least it was brief.
A few links to further thoughts on writing process
Jonathan Peace on Scriptments and working faster
Lucy Hay on time management
A great interview by Sally Brockway with David Allison (writer of Red Production Co's Bedlam) about Boy meets Girl which includes some great thoughts on his process.