The Pause in the Creative Process: Why Writers Need Time
Students and clients have told me that everything changed once they got this truth: writing is a multi-step process.
This goes for art and other creative pursuits, too. As many of you remember from class and Burn Wild, there are five stages to the Creative Process. You:
1) Begin in a playground of ideas
2) Move on to create a rough draft
4) Revise, edit and polish
5) Publish and share
Where are you in the process today?
Chances are, you're procrastinating or rushing. That's understandable, because it's hard to stay in the moment and be exactly where you need to be.
Inexperienced authors rush to stage four, revision. The inner critic tells them they'd better fix everything that's wrong, and do it fast.
Mostly we skip stage three. Yet the "Way Station," the pause after drafting, is absolutely essential.
This is where you change your modality from creative to critical. You can't continue on, blindly creating as you did at the start.
You've got to start making the call about what works and what doesn't.
Things will begin to shift in your process. But before they do, you need this pause.
You need to be still - even if it's difficult.
Without this pause and breath and regrouping, we will never get the perspective our work needs. We won't grow.
Pause. Take the gift: it is the gift of time.