Now that I have two titles “under my belt,” it seems the question I’m most asked these days is, “What’s your process, as a writer?”
The irony of the question is inescapable. It’s as though having completed one or two published works, I’m suddenly a bone fide writer of narrative; and due to that newly achieved status there must be some replicable structure in place that, once defined and followed, will yield a similar result for others… some magic potion I’ve developed that, if guzzled down, might cultivate a fertile mind and yield literary fruit.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Whether my works were completed or were “in progress,” whether published or stacked in a pile collecting dust, I have always been a writer. I was born that way. (Oh, G-D! Strains of Gaga are running through my head! Someone get her out!)
I may have spent the majority of my life thus far doing work that kept food on the table rather than fed my soul, but I have always been a writer.
I don’t believe there’s any value in identifying one’s process or explaining it to another. Every person writes differently. Every time one creates a word or sentence, paragraph or page, short story or novel, poem or song lyric that captures the heart or the imagination, that surprises or ignites, heals or harms, answers or questions, shocks or calms (while being written and later, while being read) one is being a writer.
I believe the most authentic of writers don’t follow any given process. That said, I also believe many story tellers and authors do.
Authentic writers open themselves to the universe to make themselves available.
They ask to serve a higher purpose and wait for the direction to come.
Every thought or entry point…every setting or character or plot that pours into one’s mind and is then interpreted through one’s hands onto the page, is a message being sent from the universe.
It is impossible to tame the intuitive Muse. And it is folly to try.
But it is possible to clear the path, to sit in quiet, to listen with intention, and to seek a wholehearted deep connection.
I have sat in quiet while writing this long enough to hear my Muse’s answer: My process is to keep all paths clear, make time to be still, and open my mind, heart, and hands to a deeply meaningful connection.