Trust the Process
Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Trust the Process: but also go through it’s text messages because who the hell is Amber?
There is (hopefully) a (relatively) big (more parenthesis) announcement coming soon.
This blog has nothing to do with said announcement, for fear of undermining and/or spoiling the announcement and thus rendering it not an announcement at all.
Instead, let’s talk about process. Every writer has one and, unlike foods, the more process the better. Dean Koontz will go days without writing then sit down for a marathon session where he may crank out dozens of pages at one time. Joe Lansdale prefers writing a few pages every day. Stephen King sits back and wonders how to spend his money while Satan writes his novels for him, as per their agreement for his soul.*
I did an interview with CrabFat Magazine and was asked about my own process and it occurred to me for the first time that I wasn’t a “cool” writer. Hemingway drank and fought and traveled. Bukowski drank and fought and drank. Some of Willie Nelson’s best songs were written on napkins at bars. All I had to offer during the interview was an apology for not having an interesting process. I essentially gave the equivalent of an “I like turtles” answer. However, as it does with everything except blaming immigrants for a country’s problems, the process changed. Yes, I can finally say I’m a semi-exciting writer. My wife and I bought an RV last year, gave away most of our stuff (I couldn’t let go of the Nintendo64) and hit the road.
We’ve lived for days and weeks at a time in the Southwestern deserts, the Sierra Mountains, the Florida Keys, forests, fields, along rivers and lakes, and even a few Walmart parking lots along the way. Throughout these travels I’ve had to redetermine what an efficient writing process looks like. In the end, the result is as follows:
The Perfect Day
Wake up at 6:30 a.m., put on coffee,** feed and walk the dog, drink coffee while reading quality prose to help put me in the mindset to write.
7 to 9 a.m. write and try to not suck
9 a.m. - breakfast
9:30 a.m. - second pot of coffee
9:30 to Noon - write and try harder to not suck
Noon - walk the dog, stretch, remember to act like the other humans
12:30 to 1 p.m. - lunch and NPR for a quick but depressing dose of news
1 to 1:30 p.m. - wrap up the writing, look over the pages and realize I should have tried harder in school
1:30 to 1:32 p.m. - have my wife hug me and tell me I’m not a failure, at least not yet, and in the meantime we should eat lunch and go hiking
1:32 to 2 p.m. - lunch
2 to 7 p.m. - hiking
7 p.m. - feed and walk the dog
7:30 to 8 p.m. - dinner
8 to 11 p.m. - act like I’m playing dominoes with my wife, when in reality I’m wondering if there’s a decent living to be made in the male stripper business because writing will never work out, and also everything’s fine because it says “light” right there on all seven of the empty beer cans
See, pretty darn exciting, am I right? Go read something,
*that’s not a knock on Stephen King, that’s just a fact. No one can write that much for that long and have it be that good. All hail the dark lord.
** “putting on” coffee means two different things depending on whether or not we’re staying at an RV park. If we’re at an RV park and hooked up to electricity, coffee-making is carried out in the traditional manner. If not, we boil water and pour it over the filter ourselves. Takes longer, a little less precise, but also fun in an apocalyptic-type way.