Writing Process – Experience as Art

Another night of restless, light sleep.

Another bout of anxiety.

Another counselling session.

I’m sitting on the leather sofa, spouting a river of conscious thought, vomiting verbal diarrhea all over the room and my counsellor.

What it comes down to is that I’m, once again, attempting to impose other people’s ideas and expectations about my creative output. This time, however, I’m not imposing onto my creative process, but onto the editing, marketing, and promotion of the creative output.

This a problem when you are a creative weirdo living in a world of social media and capitalism. Everybody says, “Do it THIS way and you’ll get rich/thousands of followers/recognition/etc.”

The problem is that these “mainstream” ways don’t work with me. They may not work with you.

Image by MidJourney

Any time I attempt to apply a mainstream process to my own life, it backfires.

Another night of restless, light sleep.

Another bout of anxiety.

Another counselling session.

In short, dissonance. My intuition — via my body — let’s me know that whatever I’m doing or attempting to do, isn’t sitting right. It isn’t me.

This time it was doing all the things that I think need to be done. For instance, I’ve registered to attend 20Booksto50K in Las Vegas in November. Okay, that’s in November. It’s now April. That’s eight months away. EIGHT months.


I suddenly need to order books and make promo materials and order promo materials and finish writing my current book and get the cover sorted and put my backlist into large print and record audiobooks and transition my podcast to YouTube, and, and, and….

This ‘have-to’ list is from the mainstream block of folks who say this is part of the recipe for success. My intuition — via my body — on the other hand is saying, “NO. This is not my process.”

My counsellor (wise man that he is) says, “Instead, focus on your own process. Focus on creating your art.”

Remember the first time you looked at a piece of art and felt a profound emotional shift? Maybe a sense of awe? Maybe your soul shook? You likely weren’t looking at every brush stroke of the piece, the narrative, the symbolism, etc. The artwork elicited a reaction from you and it was an experience.

Writing can be art. It can be an experience, both for the creator and the reader.

The creative process can include the editing, marketing, and promotion. The creative process can be the entire process from ideation through to release into the world. It is not just what you create, but how you create.

I’ve come to terms with the way I write. I’m good with writing into the dark, hearing voices, talking to myself, daydreaming scenes, and taking years to create a book. It’s taken me years to understand and accept my process.

Now I’m learning about my process regarding independent publishing.

Part of my realization is that my creative process isn’t confined to getting the words from my head and to the page. My creative expression includes how I market and promote my work. I need to do it in a way that fits who I am and how I am in the world. I can’t easily apply mainstream ideas of marketing and promotion. I need to feel what works for me, here and now.

I don’t write fluffy stuff. I write stuff full of deep, gut-wrenching emotion. I write an experience.

Much of the marketing and promotion strategies, to me, feel fluffy and superficial. I don’t resonate with that. I want to create a community, engage with them, and create a reciprocal experience that we all share. Does having one million Instagram followers mean I have an engaged community? Nope. Does handing out 500 bookmarks at a conference mean I’ll have 500 readers who were soul-struck by my books? Nope.

I write (and market and search for) that one person who will be soul-struck by my words.

I write for that person who will cry buckets over the agonies felt by my protagonist.

I write for that person who will buy my book and read it again and again because they want to experience it again and again.

What does this look like for my marketing and promotion? Unknown. I’ll let you know.

Who are you writing for?

What do you wish your reader to experience when reading your work?

What marketing strategies have you tried and hated, but have led you to other, better fitting strategies?

Further Reading

Tad Hargrave – Marketing for Hippies

Bessel van der Kolk – The Body Keeps the Score

Writing from the Soul

Julie Bjelland – Marketing Strategies That Work and Meet Your HSP Needs by Andrea Weber

The Creative Penn Podcast – Intuitive Writing And Book Marketing With Becca Syme


Yvonne is the author of two fiction books, Memoirs of a Reluctant Archaeologist and Waiting for Fate (Book One) and several short stories. You can view her backlist here: http://yvonnekjorlien.com/shop/

Sign up for her newsletter and be the first to hear about new releases and get exclusive content. Get a FREE short story now: http://yvonnekjorlien.com/sign-up-and-get-a-free-short-story/

Do you need some help with your writing? Yvonne offers writing consultation to get you in the flow.

Follow her at The Reluctant Archaeologist Facebook page.


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