Friday, April 30, 2010


I've had an amorphous blob.

I mean, an epiphany.

I don't know how to write.

Hold on! Come back, there's more.

See, it all started with the author blog chain going on today. I'll link to Tawna Fenske because she started it, and has links to the other five participating authors in there.

The point of these posts was for these six authors to explain their writing processes. Which is, I'll admit, like crack to me. I love following/stalking/ admiring authors from a distance. Not only is it really wonderful to get to know them, I love seeing the process through their eyes, and I love being happy for them as things happen. I'll also admit to loving letting my imagination go wild with the someday-when-that-happens-to-mes.

But today, reading each and every one of their blogs, and seeing how all of their writing processes were so alike and yet so different from mine got me thinking that I don't know how to write. If I were to write a post detailing my writing process, well, frankly, it would resemble each of theirs in turn to some degree. But there's no one way I can pin down and say, hey, this is how I write.

Sometimes, I become full-bore obsessed with a project and churn it out like a stomach flu I can't seem to shake. (Lovely image, I know. Sorry).

Other times, I let the idea simmer as the plot and characters run around in my head and get to know each other.

Yet other times I plan everything out (albeit in my head) and write from an outline I carry with me everywhere I go.

And sometimes I do all of the above in alternating phases.

What's the point? I think my point isn't new, but it certainly struck me upside the head today: there is no one "real" way to go about writing. No one place to turn to and have the same results as, say, The King (by which I mean Stephen). If that were the case; if it were really that easy, we'd all be writing the same story.

And maybe we are all writing the same story, on some lower level. But we are each doing it in our own ways and with our own approaches to life, and therefore, even if you did write like Stephen King, you would probably never write what Stephen King has written. (Assuming a vacuum/ bubble and laboratory control, for all you science-y types).

So I guess my point is that while I still fully intend to stalk/follow/admire writers, and I still intend to love doing so, I'm going to stop seeking out my method of writing as a reason why I haven't been agented/published yet. Just because I don't outline, or do, or get it out all in a month, or take a year to write something, doesn't mean it's not worth the effort. I'll continue to take what I can from author posts and work hard to improve my own writing in the ways that matter. Someday maybe I'll have a set method (for example: when I'm under deadline), but for right now I'm fine writing my way. I'll re-evaluate when it's time-- whether I need a more disciplined method due to a deadline, or just a different method because nothing's happening for me.

Do you have a set method, or does your writing morph as you need it to?


  1. Hazzah! for the anti-method writing method.

    Not of course that it is the only method that works. If it were it wouldn't be anti-method.

  2. Thanks for the links to our blogfest (and for capturing so perfectly what we were trying to accomplish with it!)

    It started when aspiring authors kept asking me about my process, as if that might yield the magical formula to getting published. I grabbed my critique partner (Cynthia Reese) whose method is as different from mine as it could possibly be, and together we rounded up a variety of other authors to demonstrate that there as many ways to write (and get published) as there are writers. There's no "right" or "wrong," and the important thing is to just do what works for you. That was the point of the blogfest, and I'm excited we got a chance to demonstrate it like that.

    Thanks so much for reading, and good luck in your writing journey!


  3. Taryn-- if it has a name, it might be a method!! Oh no!!! How will we write now?

    Tawna-- Thanks for demonstrating it so clearly, then, and I guess I was the perfect guinea pig :) They were really fascinating posts, and it really was quite interesting to see how differently everyone writes.

  4. The lesson I took away from Tawna's blogfest is pretty much the same thing you did (no surprise, huh?) -- as with most everything else in writing, there is no right answer. There's merely what works in that particular scenario.