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Interesting process link

jpsorrow posts about the evolution of process, or what each novel has taught him about his own writing so far. It's interesting, and I winced at the one book in which everything fell into place because I knew that the subsequent book would be so heart-breaking. It's always harder when you think you've finally arrived, that you know what you're doing -- because of course you start the next novel and nothing works properly or that smoothly again.

ETA: the actual link. Coffee infusion needed.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
battle_of_one
Mar. 3rd, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
I actually really hope that I never know completely what I'm doing.
msagara
Mar. 4th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
I actually really hope that I never know completely what I'm doing.

It's one of my daydreams: to be able to write and work without that nagging sense that it's all garbage, that it's inferior to whatever else I've done, that it's too slow or too superficial or too boring.

All of which I assume I wouldn't feel if I knew what I was doing. Knowing everything? No, because the book never comes to life if it doesn't surprise me; it doesn't feel like it's real if I can predict it all. But the surprises don't usually make me feel like I'm spinning my wheels.
battle_of_one
Mar. 4th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
I always find other writers' processes to be interesting. I think I hear what you're saying and in a way it's comforting to know I'm not the only one that suffers pervasive insecurity about my writing. Even now I tend to want to think that far more experienced writers than me somehow find a 'system' that excludes them from certain insecurities. But I don't tend to compare myself beyond that because...there's no point. Off-point but I'm just letting my brain run.

To me that constant fight to think that the work is more than absolute shit is an important part of my process. I need to believe that it's shit so I constantly look at it with a critical eye toward improvement. But at the same time part of becoming a better writer for me is also acknowledging what's being done well. Always that balance, right? Trying to achieve a balanced perspective at the appropriate time is the real challenge for me and not one that I think will ever be 'accomplished'...and I like that. But I might be weird. I need to be unsettled in what I'm doing when I love it this much otherwise I run the risk of becoming complacent. I think I achieve a certain contentment with my fiction and my process by knowing that being unsettled is a necessary part of my becoming a better writer.

I have no idea if that drivel made sense.
msagara
Mar. 4th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
Even now I tend to want to think that far more experienced writers than me somehow find a 'system' that excludes them from certain insecurities.

For me, it's gotten worse with time -- possibly because the internal editor is so much smarter than it used to be. But I've become resigned to the insecurity as part of the process -- I don't think I value it in quite the same way you do, but I think I'd be a lot happier if I could. I'll have to squash it down into the loam of my subconscious and see if it grows roots there.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )