A student wrote that knowing one's writing process and knowing one change they could make was "what process was all about." They were correct.
In the reply I wrote back, posted below, I describe the writing process I encourage students in my developmental classes to adopt as a starting point to developing their own process. I reiterate the fact that writing processes are messy and variable, but they profit from being made more systematic; and, I reiterative that learning to better one's process isn't rocket science.
The truth is one's writing process is usually messy. When I teach developmental writing, I teach students to go through all the steps in process writing but to do it in several passes, as they move from the sentence, paragraph, section, and completed draft.
Prewriting consists of thinking about the questions: "What can/should I say next?" and "What kind of sentence do I want to write?" I encourage students to compose the sentence in their heads, and then draft them on the computer. After they've got a sentence down, I have them revise it once or twice--no more--and proof it once. Then they rinse and repeat until they've drafted a paragraph.
Once a paragraph is in place, I have them revise for focus, content, and development, and proof the sentences once again. As they complete sections of a text, I have them revise and proof once again.
Mostly I'm giving them a system to follow and develop from. In the system I teach, they have they revise and proofread at multiple places in the process, so they're writing gets better in what looks from the outside as a longish drafting process. Over time, I move them to writing a sentence a minute and a paragraph every ten minutes or so, knowing that if they need to and the world forces such practice, they'll become increasingly fluid and faster.
As I move them into longer texts, I introduce the value of prewriting before drafting and thinking about the text as a whole; but, many writers stick with the draft and revise method of writing all of their careers. It works well enough.
I think that last thought, working well enough is the key to process. You come up with a process which works. It doesn't have to be elegant. It doesn't have to be pretty. It does have to be capable of producing the texts you need to produce, and these texts need to be good enough to accomplish your purposes on the audiences for whom they are targeted. Later, you improve an ugly process as need arises, and you study and reflect enough, so you can improve if needed. Mostly, such improvements consist of adding in a technique, trick or trying out a new idea for being more effective.
Near the beginning of class, I said, "Learning to be a good writer isn't rocket science. It's mostly common sense, some tools for thinking about your writing systematically, and practice."