Writing: Process, Not Product

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One of the things I have to remind myself over and over and over again about writing is: process not product. If I focus on the process of writing a piece, allow myself to be fully engaged in it and the moment and enjoy just writing, the words flow. They may not be perfect words–as a matter of fact, they probably aren’t. But they are words. On the paper. And that is the point.

If I get stuck on product, I get antsy. Out of focus. Keep clicking on the word count to see if I’ve made the minimum yet. Hop on over to one of my favorite knitting blogs or check out the latest celebrity gossip, telling myself I need to clear my mind. Yeah, right. I’m just procrastinating.

Eight years ago I went to a life-changing creativity camp with Julia Cameron in Taos, New Mexico. One of the classes we had was fabric painting. The class was a good experience because it was fun and it taught me about process. To wit, painting is one of those things I always think I love to do–but when I do it I hate it. Hate the process. I get bored and impatient. But I did manage to finish a pillow in this class and, under the influence of all I was learning from Julia that week, the words I wrote on the pillow were: Process is everything, product happens.

And you know what? It does. So let yourself go. Let the words flow. Don’t worry about the end result–just write.

By the way, the photo is of Pueblo Peak., in Taos. I found it on Wikipedia.

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[…] too, and I have the hand-painted pillow to prove it.  I actually wrote about this in another post recently, but it is such a bedrock tenet of creativity that I have to mention it again.  Just […]

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