Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Writing as a Process

I mind mapped the book 'Write' which I already read in the past. A lot of interesting techniques particularly in using the left and right side of the brain. It's an interesting book that provides some tricks depending on the state of your brain. It also has some interesting insights on the nervous system. The author calls it the 'write or flight' response. During my past attempts I always go to the 'flight' response. I did not know how to handle those moments of anxiety due to the pressure to write the novel.

The book describes writing as a process rather that a product. So one should not focus on the product which is a novel or book but in the process of writing. There are many stages of writing which one can focus on such as pre-writing, writing, gathering notes, revising, etc. I always seem to focus on the writing part and that's what gives me stress. So if I am not really 'writing' or creating sentences than I don't feel like I am working. But in fact gathering notes, researching, pre-writing and revising are also part of the 'writing process'. So I don't need to be actually 'writing sentences' to be a writer. The lesson is to be an expert in the process and not only on the 'writing' task.

There are a lot of tables, questions, to do lists and templates in the book. I thought it looked like a book of tricks to me like a parlor game and not a serious guide on writing. But then I found myself unable to write the novel like Hemingway in perhaps the so-called 'classic' way. I find that there are lots of tricks and techniques that one should master in order to complete a writing project. Hence, completing a book does not just involve the core task of writing. It involves a whole range of tools, techniques and mind-sets to get the job done. The best description is a 'writing project' instead of writing a book because 'writing' is not just the task needed.

The mind map provides me with an easy summary or reference to get the lessons and tips right away. I think it will be useful because there are so many moods that one feels during the course of the day that one should apply the appropriate tool depending on the situation. Mind map is a good tool for referencing the different writing tricks. Determining the right writing tool to use is also the difficult part. But first one should get used to the idea that writing is a process before one does the actual crafting of sentences.

Initialy the only writing objective is to complete a SFD or 'shitty first draft' without concern on the quality.

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