Since it’s National Novel Writing Month, I wanted to share my thoughts on the creative process that is at its core: writing with abandon. This is a reprint of an essay that originally appeared in Poets & Writers. A few years ago I grappled with a simple question I had never before bothered to ask myself: Did I decide on my writing process, or did it decide on me?
Grant, this is such a beautiful essay, perfect for now. For those of us to find it hard to just let go and write nonsense. To trust that in the illogical flow of things, there are dreams and diamonds. Thank you for reminding me, us, to trust in that process.
Just finished reading The Art of Brevity, for the second time.
The first read was informative, but the second read was where I resonated... "an aesthetic is rooted in the feeling of experience " and "Brevity," a quality I admire in writing, "... is built with questions, ....finds its breath in questions." Are among the many sentences I am pondering. The physciality of brevity struck a chord, as if brevity is a genre of physical literacy.
Grant!!! This essay!!! I loved it so much. Of course, thanks to you convincing me in 2010 to also NaNo, here I am all these years later still hunkering down every November and begging my friends to join me. Each year I find myself doing this practice of a “NaNoWriMo graveyard,” where I write just as you describe, and after a minute or two of just sprinting there I always find my way back into what I hoped would happen. There’s almost an idea of trust and faith and magic that happens when you accept that you will write the wrong words in the wrong order, but that’s the only way the rightness will arrive--we just have make room for all of it. Thank you for this essay and if you wrote it after 11/1 I think it should count towards your 50K ;)