How Do You Write? - Dennis Lehane and Process

Dennis Lehane chatted with Catherine LaSota over at LitHub, and there are more than a few reasons you should read the interview. One of the biggest, for me, was when Lehane talked about his process.

I’m not very good at understanding my own process, because I don’t really want to. I’m superstitious about it.

 -Dennis Lehane

Lehane continued on, saying, "I feel like if I understand it too much, I’ll get into that place where I think there’s a formula. And all formula leads to is something that’s formulaic. I try and lean back from that as much as I possibly can. But I do know that usually when I write a book, I kind of know one thing at the beginning and I know one thing at the end. If I’m lucky, I might know something in the middle. But otherwise I don’t know shit. It’s always work for me. It makes it a laborious process for me. My output is probably half of what my peers’ is..."

I've rocketed away from dissecting process more than a few times and Lehane nails why I was doing so. Or at least he definitely nails why I told myself I was doing so. It scares me that it's a way of avoiding harder work, in my case anyway. 

Writing something that's been meticulously plotted - some people make freaking diagrams! - means doing more than sitting down and jumping into the writing. And sometimes just sitting down and jumping into the writing is harder than I can handle. It helps when someone who's succeeding gives you a peek into their world, and even a small corner of the place seems similar to yours.