Friday, December 31, 2010

My 2010 discovery

I am writing a middle grade novel that is hilariously funny.
Well, that is the idea.
Right now it is a draft of a middle grade novel that has a quirky, snarky main character and is funny.

I am blessed with a writing mentor who believes in me even when I don't quite believe in myself.

My mentor told me to keep a journal about writing this story, so I could discover my process for the next book.
Yes... you read that right. My brilliant mentor believes I can be a writer, and there will be more than one book.

I didn't see the real value to this journal since I didn't think I had a writing process.
I am not sure I have an art process either.
"Process" seems like my own personal system for getting from here to there. A system? Someone who has a process is more organized than I am. How could I have a process?

I wrote the journal anyway because I have a brilliant mentor and what she says, I do.
Last night, I was thinking about 2010, about my goals. About the goals I didn't quite achieve.
Then I thought about that journal.

I decided to read it.
I made a most important discovery.

EVERY time I make any progress or when I have a good idea, I follow it up with a beating.
Yes, you read that right. A BEATING. I beat myself up. I taser myself. I tell myself that my ideas are not good enough that I am not good enough, that I don't exercise enough (I always add a body-jab during the beating).
Reading this "process" was startling.
It felt like my eight year old self having an idea and every time I raised my hand.. slap!

I end 2010 with a new awareness,
and great freedom!
Freedom to end that cycle, today. I am letting it go because that is not going to be my process.

I am so glad I kept that journal. Seeing those words, the mean doubty words, made me own this unproductive behavior. It also made me realize I have actually gotten a lot done even as these demons
keep showing up to stop me.

Now I have a new start,
a new year
a new process!!
This process is about acceptance. This new process is about trusting my ideas are leading me deeper into the story. This process is about being thankful for all these ideas. I am deeply thankful for the ideas and for the creativity and for the space and place to nurture them.
Happy Thankful 2011!!!


  1. Thank you, Laura. A sweet and inspiring post.
    I just did a post about what I have accomplished and what I still need to learn. Now I want to go back and look at what I have learned about my process.

    Truthfully, I have had similar experiences. Once I have completed a major project/breakthrough, I start thinking, "This isn't going to work. I'm on the wrong path. My work is no good." This happens even when I've sold my work!

    Luckily I have a mentor who helped me to see that all creatives go through this. I like your idea, though, that going through the down side is not necessary.

  2. Great post! And what a great discovery to make heading into the new year! Maybe I'll start keeping a process journal as well. A great way to clearly see the patterns we have created in our lives. Best of luck with your book!

  3. Thank YOU Suzanna! (I didn't forget the download!!) I know a lot of creative people are self critics and I just don't see it working for us.
    I think we have to let the light shine. : )

    Thanks Shari! I had no idea how important the journal would be! Happy New Year! : )

  4. Ohhh Laura congrats on your new project...and good luck with it...self acceptance is key isn't it:D