I used to wait until I had something worked out in my mind before I would put it on paper.

The most pressing thoughts on the forefront of my mind would swirl around and around until they made sense.  Then I would start writing.

But I noticed something really strange would start happening.  I would sit down to write my already formulated thoughts and discover a finished product far from what I envisioned.

This happens just about every time I sit down to write.

Through this process I’ve noticed the disconnect between my thoughts and written words.  Somewhere between reality and what my mind thinks is reality becomes distinct and clear when I’m forced to describe an event, person, or place using only words (without relying on tone either as when speaking).

The average blog post takes me between 2-4 hours to write (that’s usually broken down into 2 sittings).  I spend a good hour to hour-and-a-half writing everything through the first time, and the rest re-writing and editing.  I labor through every single solitary word…and most of my posts I would say are still at only 95% when published.

But it’s the process.

Somedays I’m frustrated that it takes so long, but most days I’m thankful and ever so grateful for it.  Through it, I feel like I’ve experienced something magical, something outside of myself, something spiritual even.

I’ve come to enjoy it and savor those moments, and while the finished product is subjective to the reader, by the time it goes public, it’s something I’ve wrestled with and learned through.

It’s the process, the journey that matters most.

Here’s a writing exercise for you.  You don’t have to be a writer to do it, but give it a try and see what the process does.

  • Recall a recent special occasion (birthday, graduation, holiday) and write about it.  How did you celebrate, who was there, how did you feel about it?  Go ahead, no ones looking.  Let me know if you do, I’d love to hear about your process.