Blog-vember post the seventh … process writing

On the seventh day, she went out to dinner.

If I were a more organised and a more diligent writer, I would have written this this morning, or yesterday or even earlier this evening. I am not that writer. I am pantser not a plotter, as they say in #NaNoWriMo. I don’t map out the plot before I start, I trust my gut and I fly by the seat of my pants.

When I wrote essays as an undergraduate, I found I was still under the spell of my early formative writing experiences. In primary school, there was a kind of writing called ‘process writing’. My memory of this is that children were encouraged to not get it right, but get it written. It was extremely tolerant of ambiguity, which was quite good as it happens for my wobbly spelling. Incidentally, my spelling is still wobbly. (Indeed I just spelled incidentally with only one L)

My early essays, I often wrote a few hundred words or even a thousand words, then chucked away the first 500 and started the essay from the middle. The middle then became the beginning and I went on, having discarded the dross I had written to start with.

As it is already really late, I have no time, tonight, to edit. Like NaNoWriMo this post is about word count and getting it written. This post was to be about ‘the dignity of risk’ and about mud. Two topics that were conversations over dinner. The dignity of risk is about being allowed to make mistakes and undertake risk in your engagement with life’s experiences, and the mud is about demonstrating what you are made of; in spite of those who think you will be undone by being made the wade through a few meters of knee deep clay.

Rather than throw out the beginning and start again, molding the clay into a story, I have to stop. It’s late and tomorrow I have to get up and convince myself yet again, that not every day is a fight to the death.

It’s a long road