When you're an author, there are joys as well as trials to the process of writing. These may all be different depending on the author, but this is the way I see them.
Outline – Mostly I use these for novels, but even short stories get a few cursory thoughts about where the story will start, and how it will progress. I used to think a formal outline was something along the lines of a 'necessary evil', but I realize now that they are a guideline, easily abandoned if something better comes along. Or I could meander away from it for a time and return later. So, it's not my favorite part, but it forces me to think things out. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being great fun, outlining is probably a 3.5.
Rough draft – For me, this is almost total 'creating'. Great fun. Give it a 4.9.
Research – Some do this before anything else, but for me, it tends to get done as needed. So maybe during outlining, probably during rough draft, possibly even during later drafts. And I can't really assign it a 'score', because it depends on the subject matter being researched.
More drafts – For each piece of work, the more of these I do, the less fun they are. Creativity gets bogged down by mechanics and rules.
Market research – Trying to find a home for what I've written is truly a necessary evil. Maybe it will get better as I become known and develop relationships with editors and agents, but right now, this is a real downer. 1.9. Maybe lower.
Waiting – This is the worst chore I've found in this process. After I've taken the leap and sent out a piece, time seems to come to a complete halt as I wait to hear something – ANYthing! – from that market. One a scale of 1 to 5, this has got to be a -25.
Every weekend I pause to wonder what's happening to the stories I've sent out. They haven't come home yet. Does that mean I dare to hope? The not knowing is a killer. I'm pretty sure most writers will agree with me on that.
See ya next weekend. Maybe I'll have news to share. Trudy