By Laura Drake
I belong to the Women’s Fiction chapter of RWA. We just completed a month-long Write-a-Thin (you’d have had to have been there,) and it was wonderful, on many levels (not for me, on the ‘Thin’ part, but that’s another blog altogether.)
Since I’m so anal regimented in my schedule, I didn’t think I needed the external motivation of a group with goals. I only signed up to support others. But I found that it helped a lot, to feel like I was writing with friends.
In chatting as a group, we got off onto interesting tangents. I admit, I experienced angst,when people began sharing their writing process. It was fascinating in that, “curious, but not sure you want to know” way.
Let’s face it. It’s like your hair: blonde, curly, thin, red, thick, grey, whatever. Mine is brown (until the gray, anyway,) straight as a board, and very fine. Which means that it most often looks greasy, flat and mousy. I always wanted auburn. And curly. And thick (yes, WITS bloggers, I have a heroine like this. I also gave her the body I didn’t get, but that, too, is another blog.)
Bottom line is, whatever we got, we think someone else got better. Right?
WF group coined the term: Process Envy. If you’re a plotter, you think you’re too rigid – writing would be easier if you just let it flow.
I’m a pantster. I know the characters, but not what is going to happen to them. I start, and the plot becomes clear to me, one chapter at a time. Maybe some part of my brain knows it, but not the conscious part.
If you write in order, you think those that write out of order must be more fun.
I get up at 3 am to write. People are amazed by that. I’m amazed by the guy I know who realizes that when he gets an email from me at that time, it’s time for him to go to bed.
I think this is human nature. I keep trying to plot, thinking I’m going to like it. . . all I need is the right tool! Scrivener is the latest one, calling my name. Those little virtual index cards are SO cute!
Whatever we got, we think someone else got BETTER than we did.
I’ll probably never be satisfied with my process, and maybe you won’t either.
But I’m glad I KNOW it!
Do you remember how hard it was to discover your process? Some of you may still be trying to figure yours out. Doesn’t it feel like walking around in a pitch-black room, full of furniture, and steps you weren’t aware of? Virtually barked shins hurt just as badly as real ones, don’t they? We bumble along, making mistakes, and learning from them, until a form comes out of the darkness . . .
Like it or not, it’s the only way.
So please tell me, am I the only one with Process Envy? What do you wish for in your writing process that you didn’t get? Or your hair, for that matter.
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