You have some great points. I really liked the meditation mention — not even so much meditation itself, but the concept of sitting with the thought.
Every time we want to write something — doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or a memory or a lesson to be shared — there’s an emotional energy to the story. Sitting with the idea, to find the emotion rather than penning a chronological depiction is more powerful than most people realize.
Toni Morrison did this exceptionally. Can’t think of a time she described anything chronologically, but that Pulitzer was earned in blood if we run with the concept that writers bleed emotion on the page. Most don’t, of course.
I spent a couple of years reading submissions at an indie publisher and a lot of people are still writing to please their fifth grade teacher. The way we are “taught” to write, and writing that comes from a place of honesty are pretty far apart. Almost polar opposites.
Here’s a Medium related example...
All those people writing about waking up at 5 AM. What happens is that if they have 30K followers, social proof kicks in and they get a gazillion claps. Then people who struggle think they ought to be writing about self growth, and night owls complain that it’s not the time that matters and the entire thing devolves into just more pointless pixels.
The real point is lost. Because the real point is “how” most of us start the day, not when. Most of us wake with our head full of a constantly regurgitated list of that-which-must-be-done and that’s what we need to alter, not the time on the clock. No one sat with the idea to think out the essence of it.
Add to it the trauma-industrial complex and if a story is salacious enough it will get curated and featured and clapped and once again, social proof and external factors will have their way with us and then we all watch and think that’s what we need to do. No, we need to sit with our ideas. Feel them out.
Life is filled with hilarious ironies, and I woke up this morning pondering on process vs outcome — and here was your article. I could comment more, but I’ve already made this too long and that’s after editing.
Thanks so much for the kind mention. Somehow I had not stumbled across Dawn yet, so I followed instantly. Shaunta I discovered long ago.