Friday nights we have pizza for dinner. In our house, pizza night means making a yeast dough from scratch, and either using sauce I made with fresh tomatoes over the summer, or starting with a can of crushed tomatoes. Either way, it’s a process. It works well for us. I’ve done it for enough years that it takes little thought on my part, and everyone enjoys the end product.
But it’s not the right approach for lots of people looking for pizza on a Friday night. That’s totally fine with me. I don’t judge people who don’t make their pizzas from scratch. I don’t think my homemade pizza is inherently superior to any other pizza out there. In the end, I do it because I take pleasure in the experience, and my family does as well.
My philosophy about writing is more or less the same. Learn what works for you and do it. It doesn’t make it the right way for everyone. It also doesn’t make it wrong if other writers don’t work the same way. Our minds are weird creations. They are full of trapdoors, and secret passages, and staircases leading nowhere. The trick is not to learn to rebuild your mind to look like someone else’s, but to learn to navigate yours in all its chaotic glory.