Some Thoughts on the Writing Process
| Writers have said to me that they only write when they are “inspired.” I had this sudden image of a brain surgeon saying, “I can’t operate today. I don’t feel any inspiration.”
Writing is a job to be done, like any other, and the more often we do it the easier it is to do. I used to wait for inspiration, also. I must admit that, but then I got a job that required me to write frequently, only memos and letters and policy statements, not poetry and fiction, of course, but I learned that if you apply yourself you can write when you want to, not only when you are inspired.
Admittedly, sometimes what I write is less than what I might want, but at least I’ve made the effort and put some words on paper. And sometimes, even though they’re not so good to start with, I come back to them later and make them into something worthwhile.
Writers should write every day, or most days, even if they are just keeping a writer’s journal. And do you know the difference between a journal and a writer’s journal? They are two different things. One can be used to track your thoughts and how you feel and what the weather is and what television programs you watched. That’s a journal and in its own way, it is a good tool. But a writer’s journal is for “writing”, for making an effort at a story, starting a poem, recording an idea for a story, or a name for a character, or whatever is going on in your writing life.
Do I have a writer’s journal? Not exactly. I have a lot of scraps of paper with stuff written on that I look at from time to time. I have little notebooks and big tattered notebooks, with scribbling on some of the pages. I look at these from time to time and often find something I want to write about and do some work on it.
Writing is a continuing task. We should do it almost every day. Writing is a joy to us writers. We should not neglect the process.