To be very honest, instead of writing or having a process I just work very hard on my anxiety: both suppressing it and fuelling it.
I fuel it by letting my thoughts go as far as they need to. Whenever I am walking down the street, I think about what object could come into contact with my body to destroy it. The crane building a new high rise, that could easily fall on top of my body and crunch it into the earth. A car running off the road. The earth crumbling inside itself.
I take all these thoughts home with me, and clean my apartment, and make to-do lists, and stare at my emails. And then I don't write anything at all.
Today I thought about whether I even liked writing or the idea of writing. Nothing came from that thought. I ate a doughnut.
Maybe I don't write when I'm happy. I am happy. Or, I am in a state of happiness.
I have written 168 words. 170. 171.
I'm not writing today, just like yesterday and the day before. I won't write later today, and I won't write this weekend. I will fear about 20-40 random things will destroy me today. I will focus on that.
I am very good at administrative tasks. When I think about that, I think that maybe my calling was just being in administration. If everyone read books via spreadsheets on Excel then I'd be prolific.
Side note: I love doughnuts and wonder if I should be spelling it "donuts."
Writing processes are foreign to me. I'm impressed by writers who have a writing process. I think maybe if I did have a process it would be that I write nothing for as long as I can until I feel shame and feel like I've failed at being a writer by not even doing the thing that makes someone a writer and get very weird about it. Then I write. In other words, when my anxiety is high, my writing usually follows immediately after.
All of this is just to say, sometimes the writing process is not writing at all.
Daniel Zomparelli is the Editor-in-Chief of Poetry Is Dead magazine. He is a co-podcaster at Can’t Lit. His first book of poems Davie Street Translations was published by Talonbooks in 2012. He co-edits afteryou.ca, a collaborative poetry project. His collaborative book with Dina Del Bucchia, Rom Com, was published by Talonbooks in 2015. He is currently completing his first short story collection.