My Writing Process…

I know a lot of writers write blog posts about their writing process. I know this because I use to read a lot of posts about how other writers get their books from concept to publication, while questioning if I’m doing it right but reminding myself that everyone does it differently. I am prone to self-doubt which often leads me down the rabbit hole of comparing my process to others.
I suppose I should explain that when I say process I mean I do it completely differently every time. For There is Hope, I sat and wrote the first chapter, twice, before developing a concept and backstories for my characters – which I continuously added to as I completed the first draft. Between draft two and three I made major structural changes, which included writing out two major character (I definitely think you have to be willing to “kill your darlings” if they aren’t strengthening the story you are trying to tell). I’m now onto my fourth draft and am not sure when the end point in editing will come. I know I have a lot of work still to do but I can see the end getting closer.
I wrote a short story, The Other Ones, (which you can read on my blog) in two sittings writing from start to finish without a plan and no idea where the story was going. Then edited a few times over, including changing the ending.
I have another story in the back of my mind that has been growing for the past two years and has had a few false starts but ideas keep forming. I have started planning and make regular notes to come back to it later.
My point is that as most people who read “My writing process” posts are unpublished writer’s like myself I thought I would share my experience and that is that it’s never the same. Not the same as any other writer and not the same for any two stories. We are constantly told “This is how I do it – but you should do it your way”, “There are no rules in writing – so here’s a set of rules for you”, “Plot first”/“Let the story come naturally” and I’ve found that these post all just lead to confusion.
You develop thoughts about whether you should be writing more like someone else because they’re already published or thoughts about how your way is all wrong because you haven’t followed these rules that apparently don’t exist.
I have done a few short courses in writing which I found very helpful in understanding what publishers want and the traditional ways the writing process in undertaken but I have also walked away feeling pigeon holed. I feel like I’ve been making up stories as long as I’ve been breathing and it wasn’t until I decide to undertake writing as a career that I felt like I had to do it a certain way. If I could go back I think I would have a first draft completed before undertaking these courses so that I could apply the “rules” when editing but not have them impact my raw story.
I don’t read “My writing process” posts anymore. I don’t want to compare myself to others, even if they have far more experience than I do. I’ll keep doing it my way and figure out what works because aren’t we really all just in it to tell our individual stories in our unique way? Why would we let someone else’s process impact on how we find our own voice?

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