Monday, February 7, 2011

Loving the Process

We can do many wrong things for the right reasons just as easily as we can do the right things for the wrong reasons.

I thought of this when some of us had a conversation about picking medicine as a career. There are many who choose it thinking that it will bring prestige and pride while others come to it after a process of elimination. Maybe all of those factors are sustainable for some people but.... I don't know. I worry that basing such a large choice off of those will only lead to dissatisfaction later down the line.

Same goes for writing novels and blogging. I can see how they seem fun and glamorous. Heck, I can even understand when some of my friends accuse me of not working while I am writing.

But when people do either (or both) of these for some type of external benefit, I think they are missing out on the true value. Awhile back, Laura had a wonderful quote about what it truly means to be a writer: going through this process, day in and day out, because the process itself provides the fulfillment. Not the compliments from outsiders. Not the goal of fame and publication.
But the deed and all of its hardships.

The thing is, loving the actual process of anything will make the low points worthwhile. Whether it's rejections, dead ends, doubt from self or others, each one can be overcome because it will not be the source of motivation.

For so long, I thought I had to explain this to people who asked me "what my writing will amount to." (There was a point in time where I was dejected at "not doing anything.")
Eventually, I thought I could, and should, make them understand that nothing else matters when I'm in front of the keyboard, that certain parts of me crawl out of their hiding places when I read a beautiful paragraph.

But you know what? It's not for everyone to understand. That's why there is an amazing blogging community of writers who already know. My time is better spent improving my craft and most all, relishing the process.

The thing is, people don't have to always get "it."

(That "it" can be a relationship, work of art, weekend plan...anything.)

(Also thought of this when one of my friends told me her family doesn't understand why she enjoys hiding in her room for hours to sew.)

All we can do is find solace in those who are in our boat and continue on our path, grateful to have found such an empowering sense of nourishment.



  1. i do not think that everything in life has to be done with an end goal in mind. some things should just be done because it provides us with pleasure, rewards us in the inner sense, is something we WANT to do...

  2. Yeah, same here... People say Rachit do something valuable instead of wasting time in writing nonsense posts. Also, I see many fellow engg. student just pursuing engg. for a degree sake. Can't understand really..

  3. I read this and came back to comment, but funnily enough in the interval I've been toying with the wording of two character descriptions for about an hour. I have underlined, and struck-through, and copied and pasted trying to get the right image across and find a good rhythm. It has been ridiculously fun. Heck yeah process!
    - Sophia.

  4. I had these same thoughts the other day and was trying to explain them to a person. What it boiled down to was that a writer can always find readers simply by uploading content onto the internet. But you won't gain any prestige, fame, & fortune by doing so. Essentially my comments were in response to another author that was telling aspiring writers that they should never review a book negatively or feel free to express their opinions if they are negative in any way. The reason for this is that Agents and Writers will see this as impacting sales which impacts money etc. I played the devil's advocate and was saying...look, you don't have to follow these rules if all you really care about is having your writing read (which is what they were all stating to me). I declared, "what you guys want is fame & fortune and if this is the case, there's nothing wrong with that. But don't disguise that by saying, 'oh Michael...all I want is to be read...that's it. Is that so much to ask?"

  5. I agree, Michael. Sometimes fame seems to be intertwined with wanting your work to be read, but if we take a step back and think about it, they are quite different!

  6. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

    Just as they do not understand you, they do things that you will never understand as well. Everyone has their own path and must walk it alone. Friends are there to make you feel better or help you steer. :)

    You are doing the right thing for you, and that is what is important.

  7. It's not the destination, it's the journey!

  8. No matter what people say about my writing, I always go back to it. I think that is what made me realize more than anything that I was a writer.

  9. I think this is beautiful. Thank you for the reminder that it is all about enjoyment in crafting.

  10. It is the process for me --writing brings me such comfort. I may never get a book published, but am enjoying the journey.

  11. I agree that the process itself provides fulfillment. I am enjoying creating these lovely worlds and bringing to life characters and stories that exist in my mind.

  12. This is so true. Writing is such a solitary process that if you did it for the external benefits - the compliments, the fame, the money - you'll be waiting a long, long time. Do it for the writing itself. That's where the joy is. Great post, Saumya!