Wednesday, April 2, 2014

IWSG: The Creative Process Cycle

Last month (when I was supposed to be doing my IWSG post . . . hanging head in shame) I participated in a chain letter-type blog hop about The Writing Process where authors shared their own method of getting words on the page. Every post I read offered something uniquely tailored to the particular writer’s own organic style. But in reading them, I couldn’t help but think about a more universal cycle that applies to each project no matter where we are in our writing career - that circle of life (cue Elton John singing!) called The Creative Process. We all go through a struggle to produce against a common enemy. No, it’s not finding time or whether you’re a pantser or a plotter. It’s more insidious than that. It’s our own Inner Author who starts a step-by-step dialogue in our head the minute we type Chapter One on the page. See if you recognize it:

Oh, yeah. You know what I’m talking about.

We all make this familiar journey. If we’re lucky, we only make one complete cycle from #1 to #6 during the course of a book. The euphoric honeymoon phase becoming a furrowed brow. Frustration with the plot disintegrating to a mantra of “I am not worthy. Why did I ever think I was a writer?” Then a shimmer of hope at a well turned phrase that blossoms into excitement all over again as we proclaim “I Rock!”

So now you know what you’re up against. Knowledge is power. You know that the mucky middle phase will pass. Pick up your feet and run through it as quickly as possible. Keep up the momentum. The last thing you want is to get so mired in #3 and #4 that you can’t move beyond them. Don’t listen! Forge on. Keep telling yourself #5 and #6 are right up a head. And the creative wheel will turn. Remember, you can always go back to #3 to tidy up once you have that great ending saved. Isn’t that what editing is for? But you can’t get to the end if you allow yourself to get stuck in the middle.

I’m on the final chapters of my W-I-P REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT, a pivotal book in my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal shape-shifter series. Basking in the “I So Rock!” glow of #6, I can hardly recall slogging through that disheartening middle where nothing came together and everything sorta - sucked. Kinda like childbirth. Circle of Life and all that.

Where are you in your current W-I-P journey?

What is the Insecure Writers Support Group?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! We’ve got your back!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group from the amazing links below and connect with your fellow writers - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Shout out to our awesome hosts for this month: Hart Johnson, Chemist Ken, Candilynn Fite, Terri Rochenski, Clare Dugmore, and Lilica Blake!


  1. I get stuck in some of those steps. It's hard to move forward when you are focused on the negative so I have to just push onward. :) Glad to see I'm not alone!

  2. I love your list of Creative Process but I feel like my life is stuck at #3 and #4 at the moment. It seems when I try to get ahead something comes along and knocks it all back down again.