There’s something about hearing professional, full-time authors talk about their writing processes that is extremely comforting to me. It is encouraging to me as a writer to know that they don’t always have it together and that they don’t always write good first drafts. I like that both of these women can sit there and say openly that they dislike their first copies of their best selling novels. I am also encouraged by their recognition that there is no one way to write. As we have been exploring and discussing the writing process in class, I have come to realize that my process doesn’t always line up with what the professionals are doing. However, hearing Kate DiCamillo and Kathrine Patterson, two of my favorite childhood authors, say that they don’t have one specific writing process was relieving, to say the least.
Kate DiCamillo says that many people are under the impression that if you are supposed to do something, it is supposed to come easy to you (3:21). She then goes on to talk about how there is only one Mozart born a century, and that he isn’t you or me. In my opinion, hearing those words allows a lot of freedom as a writer. If I can learn to let go of my expectation of perfection, and the acclaim that goes along with it, I can get to writing what I want to write.
Mozart composed a lot of amazing music, however, he didn’t compose the soundtrack to a Target commercial. But, someone did. Maybe someone who loves Target, or commercials for that matter. That person was allowed to do what she wanted to do. The same goes for writing in my mind. Once I understand that I am not Mozart, I am free to write children’s novel, or Young Adult fiction, or a dissertation on the collected works of Plato. Whatever I am called to write, I can write safe in the assumption that I don’t have to be perfect or critically acclaimed.
Famous authors like these two inspiring women have a lot of advice to offer a young, inexperienced writer like myself. And what they said about their writing processes, or lack thereof, was helpful to me because it showed that not everyone writes the same way. Their processes were different from each other, and mine is different from both of theirs. The example of Mozart was thought provoking. There IS only one Mozart born a century. And I think that is comforting because it gives the rest of the population a chance to explore what they want to do. I don’t have to be Mozart to do what I love.