The Lonely Writer’s Companion: Which Matters More to You?

May 31, 2011
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Lisa Lenard-Cook
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K. Zimmerman

 

The Lonely Writer’s Companion – Which Matters More to You? Process or Product?

by Lisa Lenard-Cook

June, 2011

 

Recently, a friend told me she was surprised to find that, when she finally sat down to write, she enjoyed the writing itself. Maybe she felt this way because she’s a competitive, goal-oriented achiever, and has always been focused on the end result. But I had to know: Was this the first time she’d enjoyed the doing?

Yes, she said.

"I know that I write because, from the time I could form letters with a pencil, I loved putting stories onto paper."
—Lenard-Cook

As I was driving home, I tried to get to the root of what startled me so about this entire exchange. For one thing, I know that I write because, from the time I could form letters with a pencil, I loved putting stories onto paper. Of course, there are other reasons I write: to discover the ends of stories I wouldn’t otherwise know; to try to understand people I couldn’t otherwise comprehend; and sometimes, simply to make things come out the way I think they should. But for me, the act of writing is something I do because I love the act of writing itself.

"What jazzes you? Do you, like me, love spending hours creating worlds . . ."
—Lenard-Cook   

So, the reason I was surprised to learn my friend was more interested in the result is that I’m a process person and she’s a product person. The thing is, as with everything about writing, neither of us is right or wrong—it’s just what jazzes us about the game. What jazzes you? Do you, like me, love spending hours creating worlds and the people in them? Or is it all about the end result—books, films, commix, or — ?

"Join the conversation."
—Lenard-Cook   

Are you a process person, a product person, or a little bit of both? Join the conversation by clicking here for Doris Booth’s Facebook page. We’ll post our favorite answers here mid-month. Join us!

 

Lisa Lenard-Cook is a regular columnist for Authorlink. She is an award-winning published author and writing instructor. Read more about Lisa.

 

PEN-short-listed author Lisa Lenard-Cook’s most recent book is The Mind of Your Story: Discover What Drives Your Fiction (Writer’s Digest), which originated in her columns for Authorlink. With Lynn C. Miller, she’s co-founder of ABQ Writers Co-op (abqwriterscoop.com), a creative community for New Mexico writers, and co-editor of the literary magazine Bosque. She’s on the faculty of the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference and the Board of Narrative Art Center in Santa Fe. Website: lisalenardcook.com

 

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