The Creative Process: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends

The Creative Process: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends - How To Write the Future episode 56

Quote from The Creative Process: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends - How To Write the Future episode 56

The Creative Process: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends – How To Write the Future episode 56

“Find your audience and announce your creation to the world. Let your light shine. Enlighten us with your beauty, truth, and masterfulness.”

In “The Creative Process: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends” host Beth Barany, creativity coach, and science fiction and fantasy novelist reads from her book *Overcome Writer’s Block* where she explains how knowing your creative process and the stage you’re in with your novel can help you be a better artist.

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Beginnings, Middles and Ends: The Creative Process #8:

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The How To Write The Future podcast is for science fiction and fantasy writers who want to write positive futures and successfully bring those stories out into the marketplace. Hosted by Beth Barany, science fiction novelist and creativity coach for writers.

Tips for fiction writers! This podcast is for you if you have questions like:

  • How do I create a believable world for my science fiction story?
  • How do I figure out what’s not working if my story feels flat?
  • How do I make my story more interesting and alive?

This podcast is for readers too if you’re at all curious about the future of humanity.

Transcript for episode 56 A Creativity Spark: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends: On The Creative Process


Are you looking for a way to dig into your world-building for your story?

Then I recommend that you check out my World Building Workbook for Fiction Writers. Now available.

It’s at How To Write The

Just head on over there. Click, sign up. Put your name and email, and there you go.

That workbook will be delivered to your inbox straight away.

Welcome to the podcast

Hey everyone, Beth Barany here for How to Write The Future podcast. I am your host, I am a creativity, coach, a novelist, and podcaster. And a writing teacher.

The focus of this podcast and the focus of my work is to support science fiction and fantasy writers to create positive, optimistic futures. Because when we help other people and ourselves envision what is possible on the positive side of things, we actually help make it so.

This podcast is also for anyone who cares about the future and who cares about making the world a better place for future generations.

Today, I’m going to read to you from my book, Overcome Writer’s Block.

This book is available at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, in ebook only. It’s available online. You can even get it from your online library app.

And the reason I want to share this with you today is that every creative process has a beginning, middle, and end.

And if you are new to creating, if you are new to creating big projects, like a novel, if you’ve never written a novel, it can be very confusing what’s happening when it’s happening.

So this article or chapter out of my book, Overcome Writer’s Block comes from my experience of being a writer. I originally wrote it over 10 years ago. And so it references my current process. It’s a little different right now in terms of where I’m at in my current writing process, but the information is still a hundred percent valid.

All right. And I will share this with you and then say a few words at the end.

Here we go.

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends: The Creative Process

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends: The Creative Process. Number Eight.

“Every day and in every way, I am becoming an artist.”

This quote is adapted from Al Franken’s Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live.

Awareness. Knowledge is power. 

Knowing your creative process and knowing what stage you’re in helps you be a better artist by adding more awareness and understanding to your life.

In this article, by “creative process,” I mean the first draft stage of your writing. And in my case, I’m referring to the first draft of my current novel.

Are you in the beginning? Enthusiastic, hopeful, a burst of energy.

Are you in the middle? Challenged by the material, wondering what to do next?

Or are you at the end? Sad or glad to be finishing?

Instead of reacting to your perhaps chaotic thoughts and feelings at each stage– reacting being the effect of the thinking and feelings– recognize that such thoughts and feelings are part of the process. And that you can choose to respond instead of react.

So, what are they in more detail?

I’ll describe the three stages as I experienced them. I’ll then ask you to investigate your thoughts and feelings about where you are in the creative process with your writing.

The Beginning 

The Beginning.

When I am at the beginning of a novel, I often feel anxiety and nervousness.

When I become aware of this, I realized the feeling stem from not knowing what the story will be, only that it wants to be told. Then I realize that my anxiety is more like an excited energy wanting to bubble up out of my subterranean mind.

Once I’m past the uncertainty, I become excited and start right in on story creation and the beginning sails past smoothly. Until I hit the end of the beginning. And the start of the middle.

The Middle 

The Middle.

Many novelists I know talk about the dreaded middle. This is where procrastination, i.e., doing anything but writing rears its head.

In this lump of middle, what is going on?

This is often where I want to run screaming from the page because suddenly I’m knee-deep in the story and all my worries come to the fore.

Is this story any good?

What about this other character?

What do I go from here?

Oh, no. I deviated from my outline. What do I do?

Pesky thoughts of that nature. And feelings?

This is where I feel like I really don’t know how to write. And what am I doing being a writer anyway?

Ah, yes. The middle.

Well, what I’ve learned is that this is a necessary part of the writing cycle. It’s messy. Not pretty. And not fit to be shown, except to the most forgiving of souls. This is where I am right now in my novel.

My strategy?

To allow this to be the messy part of the novel writing process. That’s what it is.

And then I sit down to write and create more mess. And have fun doing it because soon comes the end.

The End 

The End.

Finishing a first draft for me makes me sad. I’ve so enjoyed, discovering the story that I’m sad for this discovery process to end. It will never be this fresh again. I’m also looking forward to the editing phase, which has its own beginning, middle, and end, though different from the first draft stage.

As I end a story, I linger, taking my time to write the final scenes, saying goodbye to my characters in their freshness. Then I give myself time to acknowledge the ending. Have a good cry. And give myself time to be done. That is, I let myself transition slowly to the next phase.

Most importantly, I celebrate.

Where are you in this process? 

Where are you?

Take a moment to pinpoint where you are in your process.

Beginning, middle, or end of your writing project.

Now what?


Wherever you are in the process you deserve acknowledgment. At every stage, you deserve support, kudos, and high fives.

If the work is not over, get to work.

If it is, then celebrate.

If you are not sure what stage you’re in seek advice. Ask others in your field to reveal their stages of work. If they don’t know, it will be a learning process for the both of you.

If they do know, you can learn from their experience and wisdom. Of what they offer, take what resonates with you and discard the rest. Not as invalid, only as not applicable to you.

Celebrate Your Success

Celebrate your success. Take the time to celebrate your finished piece and the journey you took to arrive at this moment.

You did it.

Not only are you a creative being. We all are. You acted upon a dream and spent time, energy, and resources to bring your creation to life. You overcame the challenges, faced the enemies of weak focus, lack of motivation, so-called procrastination, and external naysayers and time sucks. You climb the mountain of self-doubt, fear, and inertia. You created.


Now show your art.

Benefit humanity through your unique vision by showing ourselves to ourselves.

Find your audience and announce your creation to the world. Let your light shine. Enlighten us with your beauty, truth, and masterfulness.

Current Reflection: Why Celebrating Each Step is Key to Your Well-Being [Bold]

Hmm. I love reading that out loud to you. I feel that it holds true, especially the celebrate part. I see so many writers who beat themselves up for not attaining some kind of goal. I totally understand that. Many people are very hard on themselves.

We learn best with positive encouragement. So by celebrating every little step that you took today in your art, even if it’s just thinking about your story, or researching, or going out in the world to be inspired. Or just even taking downtime away from your story. Cause that’s important too. Every little bit counts.

So that’s it for today’s episode.

Send me your questions! 

If you have any questions about what I shared today, please reach out to me, Your question can be featured on a future How To Write The Future episode. In fact, I will answer it directly on the air.

If you would like to dive deep with a writing coach, reach out to me and have a Complimentary Consultation and we can see how we want to work together.

And again, this is a chapter in my ebook, Overcome Writer’s Block. You can purchase the entire ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, wherever eBooks are sold.

Thanks for Playing! 

All right, everyone, have a great week and happy writing.

I look forward to connecting with you next time in our next How To Write The Future episode.

Thank you so much, everyone, for listening to my podcast. Your interest and feedback is so inspiring to me and helps me know that I’m helping you in some small way.

So, write long and prosper.


Are you stuck and overwhelmed by world-building?

Then check out my new World Building Workbook for Fiction Writers.

Head over to and sign up for yours today.

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Image of Beth BaranyBeth Barany teaches science fiction and fantasy novelists how to write, edit, and publish their books as a coach, teacher, consultant, and developmental editor. She’s an award-winning fantasy and science fiction novelist and runs the podcast, “How To Write The Future.”


Learn more about Beth Barany at these sites: 


Author siteCoaching site / School of Fiction / Writer’s Fun Zone blog


Contact Beth:








SHOW NOTES by Kerry-Ann McDade


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