Thinking about process never fails to interest me. I’ve been learning a lot about my own process lately.
I’ve tried many different ways of writing. Long-hand only. Typing only. Thinking up almost the majority of a piece before committing it in any way to black-and-white…
What I’ve discovered works for me, is long-handing first drafts. Then typing, and re-drafng as I type. Then reading aloud to help edit. Then pondering and re-editing. Then letting it torture me for a few days: take a comma out, put a comma back in. No, take the comma back out…
It’s taken me a really long time to get to the point where I know what the most effective way for me to write is.
The way I write also helps heaps with the “blank page” problem. That gripping terror that overcomes a writer staring at a blank page with only tenuous, if any, ideas floating around in their wordy brain… I long-hand everything in my notebook. I’m now at the stage where that notebook has a fair few other stories or poems that have been long-handed. I take heart from looking back at them, seeing how utterly terrible the first draft was, and knowing that I worked past the crap to produce pieces I’ve been really happy with.
“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemmingway