One of the pieces of advice that I’ve heard over the years is “Trust the Process.”
For me, that also means, “Trust writer brain. She knows what she’s doing.”
I still fight with her occasionally when I’m creating and putting a lot of new words down on a page. I don’t know why. She’s always right, and she always wins. (She’s kind of a bitch that way.) However, instead of fighting her for a week or a month, now it’s more like an hour, or sometimes if I’m really being stubborn, half a day.
I can’t write when I’m fighting her, when I’m trying to do something other than what she wants. Can’t create. Can’t do anything. It’s pretty obvious to me, now, when I’m fighting her. Plus, as soon as I admit defeat, the words just flow again.
Currently, I’m going through first reader comments for the latest novel. A couple of really interesting things have come up.
I had two first readers. One of the fascinating things for me is how often they agree on awkward sentences or paragraphs. Possibly as much as 90% of the time, if one marks a paragraph as awkward, the other will have touched on it as well, offering suggested rewrites or just marking it as awkward.
It’s taught me that when this book flows, it flows. It’s really obvious when it doesn’t. Or at least to both of my first readers.
The other thing has been my conscious choice to trust writer brain.
When one or the other of my first readers makes a comment, such as, “This needs more foreshadowing”, I listen to writer brain’s response.
Sometimes she says, “Oh! Right! You need to add more here, and here, and here, and here!”
It was really easy and obvious. That comment spoke to inner writer. It didn’t matter the amount of work that single comment caused. Writer brain was happy to do it.
Or when one of the first readers wanted a scene rewritten to be more visceral. Writer brain happily wrote an extended scene. Boom.
It has worked the other way as well. One of the first readers wanted a different large change. However, writer brain merely shrugged and said, “Meh.”
I’ve gone back to that other comment more than once. Writer brain continues not to be enthusiastic about it.
Though I trust that reader, and I’ve taken almost all of that reader’s comments, I choose to trust writer brain on this one.
Again, it isn’t about the amount of work that comment would cause. I’m happy to do the work. However, writer brain doesn’t feel as though that comment needs to be addressed.
I really like this novel. I think that it will be a much stronger novel once I finish incorporating all the first reader comments.
But it will still be my novel. My choices. My words.
For better or worse, I’ve learned to trust my inner writer.
How about you? Do you trust your process, your inner writer? Or do you fight?