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Monday, January 30, 2006

Writers' Blogs

I like reading other writers' blogs. They're generally entertaining, and since I write myself, I can usually relate at least somewhat to the posts. But I hate it when other writers discuss their process.

I know why. I don't write the way they do and even after all this time, I still feel like I must be doing something wrong. This stems all the way back to the time I was in junior high school and had decided I wanted to be a writer. I checked out all kinds of how to books from the library--all of which were written by plotters and all of which (at least in my 8th grade mind) implied that the only way to be a successful writer was to follow their method. I still shudder at the sight of 3x5 index cards. After all the joy of writing was sucked out of me, I finally decided I'd do it my way and at least have fun even if I'd never be a success like these writers who'd written the how to manuals.

Years later, I'd read posts online about writing and paralyze myself. I wouldn't be able to write for days because I didn't write the way these other writers did. And they were published so they must know more than me.

Some of this has faded--well, at least I don't freeze up anymore--but my first reaction to reading another writer's method is OMG, I must be doing it wrong. So when a writer posts to her blog about how she writes, I know I should just skip that day. But I don't. I read every word. I can't seem to help myself.

I don't know how much I talk about process here. In my mind, it's not often since I try not to analyze what I do or how I do it. My usual answer to people when they ask me a question is: I don't know, I just sit down and write. But maybe things slip in that I don't even recognize.

Do other writers like to read about another writer's process? Do readers like to read about how a writer writes? I honestly have no clue.