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Writing process? Um…what?

Atlin Merrick

"What’s your process?"

What’s my……what?

If anyone’s ever asked you this question, about how you go about writing, and then took a minute from their so-busy lives to tell you a ‘better’ way, may I kindly suggest you ignore the right royal hell out of them?

Because if you’re getting words on the page, your process is aces.

Me, I go to cafes. I’ve written hundreds of articles in cafes. I’ve written two books in cafes. When a cafe gets noisy with someone tap-tap-tapping at a glass with their spoon or a child is weeping as if their hair is on fire, I put in my earbuds and listen to cafe noise.

That’s my writing ‘process.’

You? Maybe you sit on the toilet lid while your spouse feeds the kids and puts them to bed. You get a solid 500 words out. Your process is perfect.

You? Maybe you take one long weekend a month off from everything and live in your mum and dad’s basement. During that time you write 10,000 words. Your process is perfect.

You? Maybe you write 100 words on the bus to work, another 100 during your lunch break, and a solid 200 during the news. Your process is perfect.

The point is this—lots of times people who tell you how to do something don’t themselves actually do it. That doesn’t stop us from feeling we’re doing it wrong by not doing it their way. But we’re not. If you want to write and you found a way to write, then there you go, you’re doing it. There’s no correct way. None none none.

Hell, if you write best sitting in the middle of playground where children are screaming, a dog is gnawing at your shoelaces, and you have a coffee at your hip so hot you’ve burned your mouth twice then THERE YOU GO. Please keep it up. That’s your way and it works.

(Though chill that coffee maybe?)

What's your process? Share it in the comments!



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  • Atlin Merrick on

    As always, thank you for your comments any and all who have left them…some day I’ll figure out how to reply, or at least how to make it so you can reply to one another.

    And to think I used to be a technical writer…

  • Anonymous_me on

    I tell myself the story while I’m doing other things – driving, showering, sewing. The words meet the page in little bits here and there whenever I’ve a moment alone.

  • Nathaniel on

    This was a brilliant article. I find I write best when sitting next to someone who I know. Which is weird when I think about it because I’m usually writing about things I don’t want them reading, haha

  • miamam on

    Oh Atlin, you got me! I saw the title and was like hell yeah, tell us how the goddess does it! But your words are, as ever, funny and kind. The toilet lid made me laugh out loud which is a bit akward when I’m supposed to listen to some boring training at work; I used to write paragraphs just there, hearing my kid bouncing about the flat and my husband trying to calm him down. Yeah. Recently it’s more about just sitting down with headphones listening to whatever helps,mostly wind and rain or forest at noisli dot com. I’d be unable to create anything in a crowd of people though. Too many thoughts that aren’t mine o.o


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