“Process” is defined as – A series of actions or steps taken to achieve an end.
Each word you write, each scene that unfolds, is a step in the process. Bit by bit your manuscript comes together.
But it’s also an emotional and mental process. You’ll work through many emotions ranging from confidence and joy to fear and doubt. It’s all part of the process of writing. When you can embrace the process, it’ll help you find peace with it and become a better writer.
Reason #1 Manage Doubt, Fear, and Wavering Confidence
Many writers, myself included, sat down to the keyboard or grabbed a pen and paper with a singular goal in mind. The goals vary but they’re generally fairly grand.
- You want to write a novel
- You want to publish a novel with your favorite publisher
- You want to become the next Nora Roberts, Stephen King, or JK Rowling
Depending on your tenacity you may have churned out your first manuscript fairly quickly and begun the process of submitting it for publication. You then likely endured rejection after rejection and started doubting your abilities.
You realized that writing a book is difficult and started doubting your abilities.
Both paths lead toward doubt in yourself and your writing dreams, goals, and aspirations.
The doubt is natural and it’s often part of being an artist, a writer, and a human being.
It’s part of the process.
Doubt can either break you down or give you strength to push through. You get to make the choice each and every time it creeps into your mindset.
When you embrace the writing process you also embrace the fears and doubts that go along with it. You understand that they’re part of the experience of being a writer. It helps you not only anticipate these emotions but also relax when they surface and not let them affect you or your writing in a significant way.
Let’s face it, when you doubt yourself and your skills there are two paths to take. You can either give in and believe the fears and doubts or you can rail against them. You can prove you’re a good writer worthy of publication by trying harder, pushing back, and staying focused on your goal.
Reason #2 You Become A Better Writer
Embracing the process of writing also means embracing the concept of learning to write. Some people are born with an innate storytelling talent. Most aren’t. Most of us have to learn the skill. We learn how to construct a scene, how to write compelling dialogue and how to craft a plot.
When you embrace the process of writing you’re also committing to learning, to making mistakes as you learn, and to trying new things. Those people who don’t embrace the process of writing begin under the false belief that writing is a talent that you either have or don’t. The result of that attitude is generally a short lived stint at being a writer.
Embrace the process of being a writer and you learn to love words, to explore other types of writing and to look for writing lessons in everything you read. You learn to enjoy sitting down at the computer and experimenting with the written word. Sometimes the results are terrible (who cares) sometimes the results are astounding.
Reason #3 Writing Becomes More Enjoyable
Imagine sitting down to paint a canvas for the first time. You have your brush in your hand, paints at your side, and a blank canvas. You’ve never painted before. You have two choices. You can embrace the process of painting and learn as you go and enjoy the process or you can expect to create a masterpiece with the first brush stroke and be seriously disappointed.
Embracing the process of creating any piece of art, including your romantic fiction manuscript, means letting go and enjoying it more. Sure you want people to like it and you want to publish it and make millions. That’d be super. But why not let go of those ideals just a little bit and enjoy the process of creating? Chances are you’ll produce a much better book.
Think about reframing your purpose for writing. Write for pleasure. Write for the joy you receive from creating. Write because you want to craft a story and learn from the experience.
Wrapping Up with A Personal Story…
After a difficult time with my agent, I let her go and then fell into a bit of a state of doubt and fear. I didn’t write for almost a year. My confidence was shot and my experience with agents and publishers was brutal. But there came a point where I realized I missed writing. I missed creating characters and telling their story. I started writing again but this time without any expectations hanging over my head. I realized that even if I never published another word, I was a writer and I was going to write.
That realization and decision lifted the heavy burden of self-doubt from my shoulders. Sure, I still have moments where my confidence wavers but it doesn’t matter anymore because I don’t have the same expectations and you know what – my writing has improved, I’ve published more books, and I can more easily push through the fears and doubts because I know that ultimately they don’t matter. I am a writer and I must write.
You are a writer. You must write.