When was the last time you read a blog post or Social Media post about someone’s writing process? I’m not talking about the time someone posted about having written 1000 words, or complaining that “Writing is hard.” Nor am I talking about the process of editing or drafting or how they focus on certain elements of the craft.
I mean talking about what it took for them to sit down that morning to write. What their mindset was going in and what it was coming out. Their process of sitting down daily or weekly or sporadically to write.
The Writing Life
Most often when non-writers imagine the life of a writer, they think about books being published, going on book tour, being interviewed on today’s equivalent of Oprah’s Book Club (Is there an equivalent?), and having fans line up for their autograph. Part of that dream is that there is no day job keeping them from writing so the words just flow onto the page. The books churn out and the money flows in.
Most often when writers get together to talk about their writing life, they talk about querying agents and editors. They’ll talk about their publisher’s publicist, or lack thereof. And of course, the different means and merits of marketing and getting your work out there, whether self or traditionally published, are debated.
Among close friends there may be some discussion of how they find it difficult sit down and write due to some personal stress. Beyond that, the process of sitting down to write isn’t really talked about.
Everyone knows that to be a productive writer, you have to stick your butt in the chair, put your hands on the keyboard, and write.
For most of us though, it just isn’t that easy.
Talking About The Writing Process
I would love it if every writer found it easy to stick their butt in the chair, put their hands on the keyboard, and write. Just think of how many more books and stories there would be. It is a simple idea that doesn’t speak to the pressures and stresses we face, or our own self-doubt we so readily beat ourselves up with.
Naturally, there are exceptions. People like Stephen King and Nora Roberts are not likely to have much difficulty writing each day. But remember, they are well practiced at it.
Why don’t we talk about our writing process? Because it isn’t nearly as sexy as getting published or posting about how many words we wrote that one day, or talking about all our marketing efforts. Writing is what we are supposed to do. If we aren’t doing it, then we question whether we are truly writers which adds to our self-doubt and self-flagellation. It doesn’t look good on Social Media, to say we struggled to write, or it looks like we’re bragging about how much we’re writing.
And no, sitting down to write doesn’t have to be a struggle. We should celebrate the good writing days, and acknowledge the days we didn’t want to write, but did anyway.
Why We Should Talk About It
Whether you write in a room full of other writers, or alone at home in a closed room, writing is, for all intents and purposes, a solitary pursuit. Reading about other writers’ progress on Social Media can be a motivation booster, or it can be a spirit-crusher. Perhaps, if we talked more about our good writing days, the days we struggle and don’t write, and the days we struggle and do write, we won’t feel quite so isolated in our pursuit of publication.
I think that too often we are afraid to acknowlege that we struggle with sticking our butt in the chair, putting the hands on the keyboard, and writing. We know it is what we are supposed to do, and if we just did it, we’d be fine. But there is a reason behind why you aren’t just doing it. And that is where I, as a writing coach, come in.
I don’t talk about marketing or social media. There is enough of that out there. I don’t talk about the craft of writing. There are many courses and resources available. Instead, my focus is specifically on the writing process. Each coaching session is tailor made to what each client needs, what they are struggling with, what self-doubts they have, what fears, and what external factors are getting in their way.
Because if we don’t get the words on the page, there will be no books to publish and promote.
For more information on my coaching services, visit https://sherrypeterscoach.com/coaching/.