When reading a book, or looking at a painting, or listening to music, we forget that it is a process. We only see the finished product, the results of a lot of changes, rewrites, hours spent staring at it and not knowing what now, parts of it thrown away and then put back in again. We forget that writing a shitty first draft or making a shitty art is part of the process. Someone once said that you can’t edit a blank page and that is what I finally can confirm.
Writing or making art is not about getting it right the first time. It’s keeping at it, hours of butt in chair, rewriting, repainting, changing. Creating is a process. Writing something is a process of discovery, of finding out what I actually want to say. Now I know that I will not get there by thinking about it until I know which words to put on the page.
I used to wrote only when I knew exactly what I wanted to say. In the last few months I’ve learned that it’s enough for me to have a first thought, a general idea, a few notes scribbled in my notebook. I can start from there and by sitting down to write everyday I’ll find the story I want to tell.
The process of writing words down and deleting them, of staring at the page and out of the window, of scribbling even more thoughts in my notebook, of getting a completely different idea and trying not to get distracted by it. The process which I’m actually enjoying even though it’s not easy.
We look at other people’s work and often think that we can’t make anything like this. We forget about the process, about all the hours of not knowing where it is all going, about many versions of the same thing, about all the time of staying in the discomfort it takes to make it.
The process. I never expected to enjoy it this much.
What about you?