A couple conversations I’ve had lately have sort of melded together to help me sort out where I am with regards to writing. I mentioned to someone the other day that I have a lot of “noise” in my head that’s keeping me from really getting back to where I was in my writing. As I wade ankle deep into NaNoWriMo, I realize I’m not where I was, I am where I am.
This “novel” I’m writing is awful. It’s myopic, navel gazing, cheap therapy, filled with clichés and excessive adverbs. But another “light bulb” from the world of counseling clicked on tonight.
It’s not about content, it’s about process. What I mean by that is, when someone says something absurd, like vampires are chasing after them, a content response would be to argue the facts. “Vampires are not chasing you.” “Are too.” “Are not.” “Are too.” Doesn’t get you very far.
But a process response addresses the feeling behind the statement.
“It must feel really frightening and unsafe to experience that.” Hopefully, that’ll get your foot in the door.
So even though this novel has pointless drivel for content, tonight I discovered that the process is spectacular. The sensory experience of banging out 1,700 words a day, the sound of the keyboard, the feel of the keys, the rhythmic movement of my hands, the thoughts flowing from my head to my hands to the screen - it feels good and right and healing.