Every single Pixar film, at one time or another, has been the worst movie ever out on film. But we know. We trust our process. We don't get scared and say,'Oh,no, this film isn't working.' John Lasseter
I came across this great quote from John Lasseter. He was talking about animation, but it really applies to all artists. As a writer, it can be very tempting to give into doubt and worry that you are writing the the worst garbage ever. It is reassuring to know that even the folks at Pixar with its string of hits have doubts while they are still in the process of creating. Just think what would have happened if they had given into their fears and just stopped moving forward- would Toy Story 3, Up, or Monsters, Inc have gotten made? And if you haven't seen these film or some of the other Pixar classics, get to it. Beyond gorgeous animation, there is great story telling in these films.
So, it got me thinking, how do we learn the "trust our process" ? I think, first, we need to understand our process, then embrace that it is uniquely ours. I have seen many writers get so wrapped in what is right or wrong with the way they do something and try to find the the "right" way that it becomes an insurmountable mountain. They become so stuck trying to build the perfect process that they never move forward.
Think of your process as a great chocolate chip cookie recipe. You might start with something out of Betty Crocker but over time you tweak here and add ingredient there until you have your own special cookie. Don't be afraid to play with the recipe.
Once we embrace our process, we then need to understand our process. Do you always end up throwing out the first three chapters because it is full of back story? Do you always need to go back and flesh out the descriptions after finishing? Does the middle always make your stomach knot?
One way to discover your what makes up your process is to make notes about how you feel during your current manuscript. Note what was a particular problem and what came easy. After time you will know what your pattern is and feel secure. Even though it may seem to be the worst book ever, you will trust your process.
So do you have a unique process? Do you trust it? How does it help you get through those worse book ever feelings?
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