The Process

The Process

Let’s talk about the actual process—the writing/composing/ idea generation process. It progresses in two stages: action and reflection. Act, reflect. Act, reflect. NEVER act and reflect at the same time.

The Definition of Action and Reflection

In writing, “action” means putting words on paper. “Reflection” means evaluating what we have on paper. For this first draft, we’ll go light on reflection and heavy on action. Spew. Let ’er rip. Launch into the void and soar wherever the wind takes you. When we say “Trust the soup,” we mean the Muse, the unconscious, the Quantum Soup. The sailor hoists his canvas, trusting that the wind (which is invisible and which he can neither see nor control) will appear and power him upon his voyage. You and I hoist our canvas to catch ideas. When we say “Stay Stupid,” we mean don’t self-censor, don’t indulge in self-doubt, don’t permit self-judgment. Forget rational thought. Play. Play like a child. Why does this purely instinctive, intuitive method work? Because our idea (our song, our ballet, our new Tex-Mex restaurant) is smarter than we are. Our job is not to control our idea; our job is to figure out what our idea is (and wants to be)—and then bring it into being. The song we’re composing already exists in potential. Our work is to find it. Can we hear it in our head? It exists, like a signal coming from a faraway radio tower.

Pressfield, Steven. Do the Work (p. 15). The Domino Project/Black Irish Entertainment. Kindle Edition.

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