Happy Wednesday, y’all, and welcome back to a new blog. I wanted to finish out the month of May by introducing a new series I’ll be starting in June. And, I’m going to do that by first talking about the writing process. The first thing I want you to know is that every writer has a different writing process, and all are perfectly fine; There is no right way to go through your process. What works for me may not work for you, and what works for you may not work for the next writer. Your writing process is something that you develop over time, and it may change drastically from when you start writing to when you’ve been writing for many years. Like I said before, there is no right way to do it. It’s all about what works for you and what gets your creativity flowing.
For me, the writing process starts with an idea. It can be a character, an image, a line of dialogue, or a chord of music; It can be anything. It starts in my head, and it will live there for days, weeks, or months before I turn the idea into the written word. Once the idea is onto paper (or a Google Doc), my process takes a linear route. I’ll begin brainstorming more ideas like character names, locations, plot lines, and any other bits and pieces of the story that I dream up. Once I feel like I’ve got a good sense of where the story is going, I’m ready to start drafting. I write until I can’t write anymore, or until my dogs need attention. 🙂 Sometimes I’ll get in ten pages, but more realistically I’ll get in two. After I’ve drafted a chapter, I’ll go through a couple of edits, and then move right along into the next chapter and repeat the process.
Whether I’m working on my book, a blog post, a short story, or an article, my process remains the same: It starts with an idea that develops until I’m ready to put pen to paper. I’ll do a little research if need be. I’ll write some and edit, then write some more and edit, and once I’m finished writing, I’ll edit and revise some more. Sometimes I’ll even ask a few writer or editor friends of mine to take a look. Like many writers, I often have doubts if my writing is ready, but sometimes I just have to take that leap and trust my writing and editing skills.
My process is something that I’ve developed over time. I definitely didn’t start with this, but I’ve made small tweaks until I found what worked for me. The most important step of all is the first one. If I don’t take the time to let an idea grow and let myself process it, then I can sit down and try to write, but nothing will come out. For me, it’s all about the prep work. If I do the prep work, the words will come. If not, then I’ll just be sitting and staring at a blank computer screen.
Now this is my process. Your’s may look very different from mine, and that is perfectly okay. Remember: There’s no right or wrong way to go through your writing process. You have to find what works for you, which usually starts with trial and error. If you’re finding that your current process isn’t working for you, try something new. Ask your writer friends about their process. Feel free to try mine. Do some research. Whatever you do, find what works for you.
This brings me to our first blog series: “Writing Craft: Reading to Write.” Through the month of June, I’m going to take you through some of the major writing craft elements that every writer, and editor, should understand for well-developed writing. I’m also going to show examples of them in both classic and contemporary literature to illustrate how other authors have used these craft elements. Hopefully this will give you a few ideas on how to develop your own stories.
I hope you found today’s post helpful. I wanted to kick off this series by talking about the writing process because I want you to understand one very important thing as we move forward: writing is a process. It doesn’t just happen, and nobody’s first draft is perfection. Writing takes time just as writing and editing skills take time and effort to develop. So as we talk about writing craft elements, I don’t want you to feel discouraged if you don’t know some of them. Take this as an opportunity to learn and grow. If you feel confident that you know these craft elements, take this as an opportunity to share your experience with these elements in the comments.
Tune in next week as we start our series “Writing Craft: Reading to Write.” And, tell me about your writing process in the comments. I’d love to hear how you developed your process. As always, happy reading and happy writing!