If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Process Writing

Our beautiful spring weather has developed a blustery edge, which is reason enough to stay inside and read more of Natalie Goldberg’s The True Secret of Writing, make red beans and rice and write this post.  The “book” I tell people I’m working on sits on a table beside the sofa, untouched since last Thursday.

Yesterday one of my writing buddies and I shared our hesitations,  justifications, and downright fears, then did a timed writing on “What I’m going to write this week.”

“The book,” I said. “I wanted to work on the book.”

Tell me more, Laura.

I want to develop Margaret. I want to explore her need to set boundaries, especially around a particularly stubborn character with which she is dealing.

Great. This sounds promising.

I want to describe her garden, the one with heirloom roses in the front (which I know nothing about,) and the organic vegetable garden she is cleaning out and adding fresh compost to as she prepares to plant.


Oh, and I want to talk about why there are heirloom roses to begin with…the ones that belonged to the former owner, Margaret’s mentor.


And then there’s Hank…but he takes the story into a future without many details yet. Maybe all I can do for now is introduce him.

So what’s holding you back? It sounds like you’re full of ideas. Start with Margaret and her boundary issues. Do a few timed writings about that. See where they take you.

Gulp. OK.

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