All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.
Friday, July 26, 2019
A Writer's Many Caps
I've never had a job where the official title described what I would do most of the time. During my twenty-year career as an analyst, the actual analyzing part was there, but I mostly did other stuff. Four to five hours a week in meetings, mostly listening. A similar amount of time with bureaucratic BS. Supporting other departments. Trying to get some resources to do my thing. Explaining to other departments what I actually do. Making all my analysis look presentable and placing it in all the appropriate files and inboxes (electronic and otherwise). And then a little time actually being an analyst. However, this was all very important in the bigger picture, and it prepared me for life as a writer.
You see, even as a writer, sometimes I don't want to write. Whatever the reason may be, sometimes that writer's cap doesn't fit. On these occasions, I am very happy to edit the last thing I wrote, outline what I might want to write, or do all the things that don't involve much creativity but still support my writer's existence. It helps carry the weight that comes with that quiet responsibility of being a good writer.
I also keep one other thing in mind: All those little things that need attending to will really get in the way when I want to sit down and write a few chapters. Nothing's worse than wanting to sit down and create some reality but then realizing that one deadline won't adjust itself, or the next five phone calls will be from the author of that manuscript you promised to proof. It happens in all careers. I used to nestle up with my databases, get out my technical books, put on my analyst cap, and prepare to do some deep data analysis only to have someone's head poke into my office and say, "Meeting with Foreign Exchange on the twelfth floor, bring your lunch!"
I would hear that and hate meetings, hate the Foreign Exchange department, and hate the twelfth floor. I wanted to analyze. And I would put away my analyst cap and go to the meeting, pouting like a child.
The point of all this is that writing of any kind will at times be frustrating. It will be that thing you want to do and can't, which is a good sign in its own way. And the more you enjoy writing and get into all that it offers, the more times something will get in the way when you just want to write.
Frustration is part of the game, but it makes writing time that much more important. I'll conclude on that note, and if this post seems a little short, it's only because I have some editing to do before I can get more writing in.