I just spent the past week working on a newsworthy blog post. After a week the person who I was working with and I agreed it was not appropriate to post. Now some of you may find this extremely frustrating, spending all the time writing, editing, rewriting, obsessing, and repeating the process. But, in the end I feel better we both agreed not to post.
WSJ has an article by a creative writing teacher.
Novel Ideas: Write. Rewrite. Obsess. Repeat
Part of my job as a teacher of creative writing is to curate a reading series for our students and the interested public. We often get great writers to come share their work and to talk about anything from the sources of their inspiration to the books on their bedside tables.
During the question-and-answer period, however, the discussion almost always turns to process: Our audience wants to know every detail of how an author actually sits down to write a book. In writing fiction, there is the mystical element that none of us ever quite understands—how we turn language and ideas into stories and then, hopefully, into art.
Helen discusses the different ways people write, making the point each comes up with their own personal rules of process.
And so, to gird themselves against the anxiety of this fraught endeavor, writers often come up with their own personal rules of process. Think of it as a means of self-discipline, with a dollop of magical thinking and even obsessive-compulsive disorder thrown in to keep the spirit afloat.
Which brings up one of the rules of why I write. I write because it supports my learning by making me write why I think something is important, and think about the effects of what I post. Another rule is I always require permission to post or the content is already publicly disclosed.
So going back to the effort I spent the past week on writing a post that I didn’t post. I feel good, because I learned things about the person, how to write on a topic that would be picked up in news, and about myself. And, as Helen mentions.
Think of it as a means of self-discipline, with a dollop of magical thinking and even obsessive-compulsive disorder thrown in to keep the spirit afloat.
My spirit does feel better sharing that I didn’t post.