The discovery writing process

Yes, this is another post about writing. Specifically, about how much of a double edged sword it can be.

I’m a discovery writer, which is a nice way of saying that I despise outlines. Seriously, outlining holds me back. I already over-think my life into an anxiety  ridden mess. I don’t enjoy doing the same for my writing.

But, being a discovery writer has its setbacks. It makes writing a little more fun and natural but it also has the effect of making you rethink every sentence you write.  Here’s the whole process:

You open up the word processor of your choice (no specifics, I don’t want to start fights). Usually, you have a basic idea of what you’re going to write, and nothing else. So you start writing. And you keep writing for hours on end, however many pages you can handle before you’re mentally exhausted. For me, that’s usually five or six pages. And then you’re stuck. Left with only the vaguest idea of where you want your story to go, you decide to revise. You look at the first paragraph.

It’s terrible. You think to yourself “What was I thinking when I wrote this?” and you see your story start to crack apart.

So you revise.

You trade the stilted dialogue for something that sounds more natural to your characters. You fluff up the description a bit and erase what doesn’t work anymore. Now it actually looks decent! And then you take a deep breath and close your word processor.

Seconds later you’re on Youtube, watching the keyboard cat video for the nth time. And you’re heart starts to race and you realize that you may not have saved that document. You race back to your word processor and your worries are confirmed. It’s gone.

Oh well, you can start over tomorrow. And it’ll probably be better.

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