Putting down words on paper or screen is rarely smooth and effortless. It may feel like a hopeless struggle. But with practice, it becomes more of a challenging spar than a fight to the death. I love this description of the writing process, penned by Martin Middlewood last week in Wildfire Writing.

I close my eyes, take three deep breaths then slowly let them out. I feel the tension flow out of my body. I relax my shoulders. I feel my skin crawl. I open my eyes and start tapping on the keyboard. Let it go I think. Just start. Move things along. You can start again. You can cut and paste and reorganize. Delete is your friend. Go. Now. Each line marches across the screen like ants in a row following one another in single file. That's good. See the connection? Let's do more of that. I float above myself watching. That's going nowhere. Breathe. Let go. Fix it later. Not a problem. Keep going. My friend Karl says the same things when we spar. Relax. Your body knows what to do. Trust it. It will happen. Relax. Breathe. Key the fingers moving. Duck. Bob. Weave. Make the critic miss the punch. Left jab, right cross, kick him in the thigh. That's it. Knock the critic out. Breathe. Deep. Relax. Let it flow. Tension shuts off the faucet. Tightens down the flow. Breathe. It's going good now. Yes. See that? Do more. What else fits with this? Can you see it? Right. That's it. Hmmmm. Yes. That's fitting nicely. Go. Go. Go. Breathe. Relax. Feel the energy? Stay calm. Watch out, critic on the right! Duck. Step aside. Backup. He can't reach you. The ants trail down the page in black rows stopping only for paragraph breaks.

Take ten minutes to do a free writing of your own. What is the writing process like for you?

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