Wednesday, May 5, 2010

All of the usual disclaimers apply

I don't know everything about writing. It seems like that should be one of those things that is obvious, so obvious that I don't actually need to say it, but clarity is important. So: I don't know everything about writing. I don't know the best way for someone to write a short story, or a novel. Hell, I don't even know the best way for me to do those things - my process is changing in response to my experience as a writer, the skills that I've acquired, the things that are going on in my life, and the new things I am challenging myself to do when I sit down and pick up my pen.

When I write about my process here, or about the things I do that help me to write, I do so mainly because I like reading about that sort of thing. I love reading about how people create. Having those resources, whether from other writers' blogs, or from books on writing, or from talking to writers has been - and continues to be - very helpful to me. I also post about how I write because I like having the reminders. It is reassuring to go back and remind myself that revisions are always exhausting, that there is always a point between fifteen and thirty percent of the way into a novel where I need reassurance that I have a story worth finishing, and that Plot is my nemesis.

I'm still learning how to be a writer. Not just in terms of craft, but in terms of what being a writer means as an identity. It's an ongoing process, and, I suspect, a never-ending one. There is no magic wand I can wave, no incantation to recite at the dark of the moon to make this happen all at once. The one thing I do know is, whatever it takes to get the words on the page that day, that is the best way to be a writer.

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