I usually shy away from process questions, those metaphorical "What is writing?" I don't think there is a uniform process in which you slap a label called "Writing ", and if there was, I don't think I would have enough experience to answer it.
What is writing like? We all have different processes in which we produce the line of words that become sentences that become stories.
But a while ago, I was reading Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. It was beautiful, lovely, sharp, and haunting. In the series, there is a process in which one can create magic that heals and resurrects.
Except the magic comes at a cost. In Laini Taylor's series, one "tithes"--they give pain in exchange for using the magic of resurrection. They use clamps to create bruises.
That's writing; creation. Using and making magic that comes at a price. That's because we not only tell stories; we bleed.
We bleed words onto the paper that come from a vulnerability within us. Sometimes, with every sentence, we are sharing a part of us that many keep hidden. We craft emotion into raw, ungainly phrases. Books are confessions, sometimes with bits of lies that form the truth. We, essentially, tell stories of ourselves--things we have felt, experiences that turn into questions Sometimes, it is a terribly awkward process, a solitary process that evokes a lot of doubt.
But nevertheless, we try to share them, to connect. To remind ourselves that we are not alone in this human condition.
We've have felt the magic of a book before, when we stay up until 1 AM gripped in a story. The words peel away from the page and it doesn't feel like you're reading anymore; you're living the story, feeling the emotions the author has translated across the page.
We want to create that magic. We know that it comes at a cost, but it is so beautiful that we do it anyway.