The Writing Process

Writing is not always easy.

The cursor blinked at me expectantly on the screen. Writers block settled in over me like a net. On my shoulder, my inner critic stood patiently. It seemed as though the second an idea made its way tentatively to the forefront of my brain, the voice came from my shoulder. "That's not good enough." "No one would ever want to read about that." "You aren't good enough to write that yet." "You were saving that idea for later.". Never ending.

The cursor blinked again. And again. flashing. Pushing me to put my fingers on the keys and come up with something creative, original, and perfect. The voice came from my shoulder again. Not shouting, just more disappointed. "Why haven't you written anything yet?" "This is why you can never be a writer. You never write." "You are not creative enough." "You have to be original. and funny. Things you are not."

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, slowly leaning back against my chair. As though this would make the persistent voice stop. As though this would cause a wonderful idea to come to mind. As though it would solve all my problems. Surprise, it didn't.

Slowly, I opened my eyes and leaned forward in my chair. Running my hand through my hair, I thought about things that made me happy. My family, my friends, my life. A smile spread across my face. I brought my fingers to rest on the keyboard and began typing. Slowly at first; my fingers slowly gaining speed as I listed everything that I liked about each and every person that made their way into my mind. The critic seated at my shoulder immediately began his rant. "What are you going to do with all this?" "This is nonsense." Somehow, now that I had begun to write things down, this insistent voice became easier to silence. His words no longer bothered me and eventually, the voice was silent. Peace.

I continued to write. Pages and pages of names and their wonderful attributes. When I ran out of people that I liked, I began to make up new characters and their personalities. What did I like about this person? Soon enough I had a page of new faces and individual personalities that would come in very useful in my future writings.

At one point, I wrote down another new name. Seth. A name I had never heard before, yet somehow, my brain could easily bring forth an image for this name. Unlike other names I had written, This one was different. I could easily picture a story for this name. So I began to write. I gave Seth a life. A story. A family. The words came alive on the screen. Much the same way as a painting becomes brighter and more meaningful with every new color added. Seth was young and relatable and deep and thoughtful. I could relate to Seth. Understand him. Before I knew it, I had written seven pages on this simple name. I could keep writing, so I did. Another three pages gave Seth a past and a dream. Each word added further depth. I wrote about his family, their lives, their experiences, their thoughts. By the time I had to stop writing (due to thirst, hunger, and sleep deprivation) I had written over fifteen pages and over 4 and a half hours had passed. I closed the laptop and stood from my chair, suddenly realizing the truth of how long I had been still. Stretching my back, I thought of more and more to write. Seth's story was far from over, and I had so many more ideas! Though my stomach growled and I knew I had to eat soon.

As I left the room, I realized the silence coming from my shoulder. Strange. A smile played across my lips as I pondered how long the silence would last. Not that it mattered. I could now silence that irritating voice by will. With a sense of accomplishment in my heart, I closed the door to the study.

The End

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