“Any big plans for the weekend?” my trainer asked me last Friday.
“Just have some writing projects I’m working on!” I replied.
“Oh, that sounds like fun,” she said. “How do you work? Like, what’s your writing process?”
I told her exactly what I tell you now:
My writing process is that I tell myself “Tomorrow I’m going to write as much as possible!” and I carve out as much time as my schedule will allow so I can get creative and finish some projects.
Then when “tomorrow” comes I think about my writing all day, telling myself that I should probably sit down and get to work. I pace my studio, drink too much coffee, and do anything I can to avoid the task at hand.
Then, around bedtime, I finally sit down and write two or three sentences. Another successful day of writing in the books!
Since I started keeping a consistent blog 18 months ago a lot of people have asked me about my process. But the truth is…I don’t really have one. All I do is just think about writing as much as possible.
Most of the time I struggle to put my concepts into words, let alone a series of paragraphs worth reading. The key is to not give up. I know by now that if I just push through my creative roadblocks then a good essay is waiting to be discovered.
The same goes for my show.
I rarely rehearse it start to finish. Instead, I start to work on a new idea but barely get anywhere. So I’ll work on bits and pieces at random moments. I’ll talk through the script in the shower. I’ll pace through the blocking while I’m on the phone with a client. The new piece slowly comes together in sections, often over many months, but only if I don’t give up and push through.
A couple weeks ago I was trying to come up with a slogan for a special event. I wanted something catchy and to the point, so I started brainstorming with a friend. Everything we came up with was either incredibly stupid or had already been done before. Before I knew it, I was frustrated beyond belief. I decided to abandon the whole idea and hung up the phone in disgust.
I turned to leave the room and stopped dead in my tracks as the perfect slogan popped into my head. My good idea had only been minutes away and I had nearly lost it. I just needed to push through to the other side.
You can call it writer’s block or discomfort or rejection or the creative struggle. You can get frustrated when you run out of ideas and mad when you don’t have any to begin with. You can admit when you don’t know what to do next…
But whatever you do, don’t give up. Don’t give in to the struggle. Don’t give up on the work. You never know when your best idea might be one more sentence away. Push yourself to keep working. Push past the fear. Push aside your doubts and know that you’ve been creative before and you’ll be creative again.