Writing Process
Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Beginner’s Mind

Sometimes, as a professional writer, I worry too much about product and don't focus enough on process.

Yes, I need to worry about outcomes–my income depends on it.  So it would seem to be a no-brainer to focus on it.

Over the years of practicing writing every day, you get better at the game.  The words flow a bit more easily and not quite so much rewriting and polishing is necessary. 

It is easy to begin focusing on product, not process, because that product appears so much faster.

There are two prime keys to creativity in writing:

1.  Process, not product

2.  Do the work, don't judge it.

I learned both of these at a creativity camp I took with Julia Cameron, she of the Artist's Way.  And back then, when I was a beginning writer, I practiced them constantly.  And then I got better.  And then I started writing professionally.

And then I forgot these lessons.

I forgot the prime keys to creativity.

And writing got less amusing, less free, less wild.  It got more constrained, more anxious, more blocked.

I figured this out in my novel writing, where suddenly I was second guessing every word I put on the page and going back over everything I'd written a million times rather than just sailing through a rough draft.

I figured it out when the novel writing got un-fun.

And now I've gone back to beginner's mind.  I've gone back to focusing on process and doing the work without judging it.

And life is good.

Create a successful, inspired writing life: Assess where you are in your writing. Do you need to rethink your process?

I'd love to hear your take on this.  Are  you utilizing the two prime keys in your writing?  Or have you gotten anxious and constrained?


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