You might think that because I know what you should do to improve your writing skills and reach your goals, I must be already improving my own skills and reaching my own goals, right? Wrong. The reality is, developing writers aren’t the only ones who struggle. All of us have to make a daily decision–are we going to push through what’s hard, or break out before the breakthrough because we have to go to work, or go to class, or just…go? Writing is a process that involves the writer and the writing. What I have come to discover, after nearly two decades of working with developing writers, is that my work as a writer runs parallel to theirs. There are days when I don’t want to do it either. There are times when I’d rather rush the process to just get it over with, and there are moments when I, too, slink into my chair in defeat, resolved that “I’m no good at this.” But “writing is a process” that is not linear nor entirely linguistic. In fact, the writing process has as much to do with the writer as it does the words. Part of the process is perfecting the craft. The other part is perfecting the person, which means the process is ongoing. We begin with one thing in mind and discover as we write that there’s something else we should be doing. We think the writing moment is an external exercise, then discover things about our inner self we hadn’t known before. Critical thinking is an integral part of writing, which inevitably leads to deeper knowledge and understanding—of ourselves and the world around us. So, my work with developing writers has led me to a more focused purpose: to move us from conception to production and from frustration to freedom! I expect that through this process all of us will discover something about ourselves even as we hone our craft. Stay tuned–more on this next week.) Happy Writing!