Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Writing Process

Mamakat and her World Famous Writing Prompt:  Share your writing process. How long does it take an idea in your head to get published on your blog?

I am an idea person.  I have tons of ideas.  They constantly float around in my head.  I'll see a picture, or a news article, the light bulb goes on.  This will be the most brilliant blog post in the world, I think. I will pour forth my unbelievable insight with my powerful wit and  people will lose their minds adoring my blog post.  I tend to be very enthusiastic about my blog posts at this stage in the process, however lacking in reality that might be.  This self-delusion helps keep me motivated, my fledgling sense self-esteem wrapped in safety.  

Before I can get to a computer or a piece of paper, however,...I often get interrupted.  By life. If my son isn't crawling into my lap to borrow my phone so he can play a game, then my boss is asking me a question about computers, or I am getting a text asking me if I'm watching Grimm.  I can't not pay attention to everything going on around me; I must respond to my child, my boss, that text message.  And the most brilliant blog post idea, whatever it was, vanishes back into the void where all  ideas float, waiting for expression. I end up staring at the ceiling, hoping that the idea will appear again, but that never happens. Never. It's as if that idea was my breath on a cold day. I hate that, because I have this nagging inkling that the idea I can no longer remember is a great one, the best one. 

Interruptions are a part of life, I understand.  The world moves on with or without us, and if you're not paying attention, you've missed it.   I don't want to miss it, but I don't want to miss writing my blog, either.  A survival mechanism was created.  I have learned over the years, particularly after I had my son, that that I have to write everything down.   I have notebooks. I have journals.  I have random pieces of paper.  These items are all over the places where I tend to be, such as in the car, my desk, under the bed...even in the bathroom.   If an idea hits, I write as much as I can immediately, or at least draw a picture to jar my memory.   Sometimes I take those ideas and write a blog post really quickly.  Other times, the ideas will stew for a bit, maybe a week or two.  

Occasionally, I will find a piece of paper that says "florescent orange underpants" or something equally as cryptic.  I file those away in the hopes that at some point I will remember what the heck I was trying to remember. I am an optimist, at least as far as writing goes.

When my son is asleep, I sit in the quiet, parked in front of my computer with my pieces of paper.  I type out my idea.  I look at it.  I look at it some more.  I look at Pinterest and Facebook.  I look at my idea one more time.  Most of the time, that idea has germinated long enough, and sentences start ripening on the vine of my imagination.  Soon I have a relatively good sized crop, ready to harvest.  Snipping, pruning here and there, brutally clipping, until I feel that my work is polished enough.  Then I hit 'Publish'.  Immediately I want to "undo", to pull my work back under my wing.

I don't hit the "revert to draft" button.  I try very hard to let my posts go up, and if I screw up horribly, then I rely on others to tell me that I screwed up horribly.  I decided that it's okay to screw up horribly in blog posts on occasion, which was a big step.   Screwing up horribly on a blog post isn't such a bad thing, if you learn something from that. 


  1. My best writing is what I do in my head just before I go to sleep. Then I wake up and it's magically purged from my brain. I've learned to live with it ...

    1. Ah yes, that wonderful dream writing. I have been there, too!

  2. You don't seem to screw up much, in my estimation. Mr BC gave me a journal to write in at Christmas and I thought it would be a good place to write ideas. It sits next to my chair.....empty. I so rely on prompts.

  3. No one has ever told me I screwed up badly, but only two people read my blog. On the up side, one of them is not my mother.

    Other than that, your process is hauntingly similar to mine.

  4. I love your enthusiasm.I feel much the same way about my posts when I first come up with the idea and then life gets in the way and I forget.


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