I always felt negligent because I don’t write biographies of my characters before putting them into my stories, like the writing books say to do. I don’t make lists. I don’t think about their favorite colors, hobbies, the kind of car they drive, their childhood. I put them in and see what develops. So lazy. So impatient. Then yesterday I read an article in which someone compared the autobiographical sketch of things not intended for the story to painting all the other rooms in your house in preparation for painting the room that needs to be painted, and, yes, that’s exactly what it feels like. I just needed to hear someone say it.
Why is it so easy to distrust our own process?