So ‘The Process’ is something I came up with many moons ago, when I was at University, which I’ve realised transfers very well when talking about writing, and specifically writer’s block (which is something I would think most writers deal with at some point or other). I am sorry, I haven’t been able to come up with a better word for it, but I thought I’d write a post about it anyway.
Now don’t worry, it’s not some secret skill or ability you can teach yourself to work better, faster or harder, it’s just a way to understand how to work. (But I know, yes, it sounds very self-helpy-booky).
Going through University, I found it difficult to figure out a good way to deal with assignments, especially when I sat there with several different deadlines, and a variety of different types of projects, that required varying amounts of work.
It was hard to find a good way to divide the amount of reading/research required as opposed to the amount of time I had to spend writing, editing, finalising and submitting.
And this lack of knowledge of how to structure my work, often made me frustrated, because every time I thought I had found a way to deal with it, another project/assignment would come along, and it wouldn’t fit the bill. So I’d be frustrated all over again, every time, thinking that I wasn’t doing the work efficiently enough.
And that’s when I realised this was part of my process. I had to work this way. If every task was easy to handle as soon as I got it, it wouldn’t teach me anything, I wouldn’t have learnt, and I wouldn’t be able to develop. This realisation didn’t necessarily make the work easier to do, I was still getting stuck, and being frustrated with how my work was going. But as soon as I identified this thing happening, I could recognise it, and deal with by shifting my focus, maybe do some more research again or turn to another project.
So that’s how I came up with The Process. Becoming frustrated and not knowing where to go next, (usually around the halfway mark), was the way I often worked. It’s natural to find difficult tasks just that, difficult! That’s didn’t mean I wasn’t doing a good job, it just meant that I was pushing my limits. And that’s how you get better at things.
Now, I’m not in University anymore, but it’s the same with writing. I’ll get to places where I find it hard to continue, and I realise that I might have to take a step back, or do something else. And knowing that that’s how it works, is a great thing.