Thinking a bit about my writing process today. I think a bit about process everyday, I try not to, since it is a black hole of continuous self-reflection. I know there are lives to be made out of helping people with process and I don’t begrudge them that. But, that is not what I wish my project to be. So, I refine my process only to help with the production my writing. I usually try to optimize, refine, reduce, simplify. The major phases for me: collection (and review), draft (and acquisition), revision, completion.
So, as a I consume media (books, webpages, video, etc.) I attempt to keep track of things that I wish to review later, ideas to expand upon, images that are interesting, whatever I may need later. Influenced by the ideas of a commonplace books and swipe files, I try to keep reference materials always available. I don’t want to tie myself to a single machine or place or book or folders. So, I use (a hopefully minimal) set of digital ‘boxes’ of data.
I find the draft phase, real old school rough drafts, approaching the idea of Keroac Spontaneous Prose kinds of rough drafts, really useful. I find giving over to the act of writing and just letting the words and ideas flow produces…honestly, it produces a ton of raw material. Stuff that needs a good beating, editing, ripping apart, revising, before it is ready for the light of day. But, the raw stuff, getting that raw stuff out, and onto the page, for me, is the hardest part. The rest is just time, but getting the raw stuff out is a challenge.
Writing on the computer is a pain. Too easy to stop and correct, to fix spelling, to get rid of that damn little red underline, to drop out of flow. Now, I like the idea of flow, where the conscious mind gets out of the way, or becomes one with the task at hand. I like the idea of muscle memory, where you take an action completely without out thought, or maybe with thought becoming one with the physical act. Where you no longer think about shooting the basketball, but you just shoot. (And, yes, I actually did play sports at one point in time, fascinating, I know.) And I liken the flow that you reach when really get into a good writing session, with how it feels when you reach that point where muscle memory just takes over when you are doing something you have practiced so many times.
But, my handwriting sucks, no, I mean it really sucks. I find it borderline illegible, about 50-75% of what I write at a speed to really be able to write anything, is completely unreadable.
As they say, this is where shit gets real, now I have minimally edited pages in the computer and need to work on them, edit them, clean them up. And for this I have:
Well, still working on this one.
<updated formatting, image positions>