Is it BS When People Say Writers Should “Trust the Process?”

People say to “trust the process” but what does that mean?

It can mean a lot of things.

Some advice might feel watered down, like suggesting to someone who is genuinely blocked that they can fix all their problems by “chilling out.”

On the other hand, trusting the process is actually quite profound. When your process is good, then you should trust it.

When you are fully in the flow, there’s nothing to do but trust.

Maybe you start to write and you aren’t sure what you’re going to write about. Then suddenly you get an idea. It feels subtle at first, like picking up a whiff of something in the air.

It’s necessary for writers to trust that there is something out there that they can nab. But it can only happen if they put themselves out there.

Making yourself available means being in the flow.

Actively writing and being receptive.

If you are just sitting there, if inspiration wants to reach you, it can’t be as subtle. It has to actually interrupt what you’re doing, which is sitting there thinking. Unless you’re actively writing, you aren’t listening with the same degree of vulnerability as when you are actively writing.

Willing to write without quite knowing where you are going.

Willing to write because you believe in yourself and you trust that imagination is boundless and likes to offer you priceless gifts from time to time.

So sit down and write!

You don’t need to know what you’re going to say.

You can actually give yourself permission to write without knowing what you’re going to say.

And then do it.

All you need is to be vulnerable.

When you’re vulnerable, you are putting yourself out there. You’re taking a risk. You are showing up as you actually are.

How else is inspiration going to deliver the right message to you if you show up to your writing desk disguised as someone else, disguised as the writer you think you are supposed to be rather than the writer you actually are, right now?

People mistake vulnerability as something to pity. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Vulnerability is a superpower.

The other thing:

Yeah, you’re putting yourself out there. Taking risks. What are you actually risking?

What’s the worst that could happen?

Supposing that you are freewriting at your desk in the privacy of your own home rather than giving a spontaneous freestyle commencement speech at Harvard, what’s the very worst that could happen here?

On the other hand, what is the very best that could happen?

So yeah — you make the call.

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