Three Articles on the Creative Process

Here’s what I’m thinking about, right now (in addition to my freelance work and my mystery novel and body budgets and the nature of magic, which… um… we’ll get to the latter two topics later, I promise).

The Independent: Lee Child on Jack Reacher: How the best-selling author writes his mysteries

“This isn’t the first draft, you know.” He’d only written two words. “CHAPTER ONE.”

“Oh,” I said. “What is it then?”

“It’s the only draft!”

Right then, he sounded more like Jack Reacher than Lee Child. More Reacher than writer. “I don’t want to improve it. When I’ve written something, that is the way it has to stay. It’s like one of those old photos you come across. From the 1970s. And you have this terrible Seventies haircut and giant lapels on your jacket. It’s ridiculous – but it’s there. It is what it is. Leave it alone.”

Maggie Stiefvater: The Gift of Penciling It In

I used to wonder why I always began every novel so wrong. My process generally goes like this: for months, I arduously research and plan. I begin to write. I amass ten or twenty or thirty thousand words of novel.

Then I throw it away.

The New York Times: The Mister Rogers No One Saw

Fred and I commiserated about the creative process. We would often sit and talk about confronting the blank page, the blank canvas, the blank song sheet. That place of vast possibility and bottomless terror. “Why is it so scary?” he would say. “It’s so hard.” He told me he would sometimes freeze before being able to jot down a word. He had a writing room, away from the office, away from home, where he showed up on writing days no matter what. Take it on. Enter it. Sometimes in Studio A he would show me how he worked out his doubts about himself and his emotions at the piano. Banging out anything angry or anything glad. He said it helped. I told him my outlet might be something more like shopping or maybe napping. He said either of those could work.

And if you want one more thing to read (that isn’t necessarily about the creative process), go check out John Scalzi’s thoughts on the things you outgrow. ❤️