If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, June 20, 2008

Writing: Highs and Lows

A lot of people claim they hate writing. I'm not one of them. I admit that there is a lot about writing that is frustrating but then there's a lot about life that's frustrating and I don't hate that. I enjoy writing--the actual process, not just having written--because I like to spend a lot of time in my own head.

My writing process goes something like this:
  1. I get an idea that seems interesting and plausible
  2. I do research and/or analysis, getting more excited about the idea
  3. I change the idea multiple times, each time getting more excited about the new idea
  4. I write lots of notes
  5. I start composing notes into thoughts
  6. I go back and do additional research and/or analysis
  7. I start turning my composed thoughts into a manuscript of some sort
  8. I realize I'm brilliant
  9. I push through to get a complete draft**
  10. I reread what I've written and realize it is dribble and that I can't write
  11. I let it sit for a to-be-determined amount of time
  12. I reread and slowly start editing in the hopes that I can salvage something
  13. I, once again, am in awe of my own brilliance
  14. I ask someone else to read a draft
  15. I reread the draft I just sent and realize that not only am I a moron but this person will now be aware of what a moron I am
  16. I read feedback lovingly sent by my friendly reviewer
  17. I allow a to-be-determined amount of time to pass before I can reread comments and the draft
  18. I edit, resigned to doing something with this dribble and get it out the door
  19. I realize I am not only sick of the topic but I'm sick of hearing myself think about the topic
  20. I send it out
  21. I wait for reviews
  22. I get the reviews and read them right away
  23. Similar steps to friendly reviewer above, but not so friendly***
  24. It gets accepted
  25. I proof the galleys and wonder who the hell wrote this, 'cause it ain't half bad.
  26. It gets published
  27. I never read it again.

Today I worked on:
  1. A new idea (I was excited)
  2. A analysis of an idea I've been working on for a while (I was brilliant)
  3. A analysis of a brand new idea that I've already changed 3 times (I was very excited)
  4. Proof-reading galleys (I wasn't half bad)

*This part is actually a loop that occurs ad nauseam
**If I can't get a complete draft I realize I'm an idiot who doesn't know what she's talking about and proceed to the next step.
***This section has several loops until the reviewers are convinced of my brilliance


DC said...

Wow! You're so organized! Maybe I should adopt your writing method.

Kim said...

I love to write too, but am no where near as organized! nclm

Robyn said...

That's hilarious. I'm always caught in that perpetual loop between clever-socks and dimwit when I'm writing. If I could only wrestle my inner perfectionist to the ground more often, I'm sure I'd be more relaxed about it all. Great post!

And thanks for your comment on my blog. NCLM

Deb said...

oh my stars that's a lot of steps.