As many of you know, the writing process can be quite a struggle. The creative plight a writer may endure from the prewriting stage to publishing can be riddled with anxiety and the infamous writer’s block. The key to most literary victories (and preserving your sanity) is to develop and hone in on your own personal writing style. This blog post will offer structure for your writing process and hopefully, pacify your writer’s woes.
The first step in the creative process is planning and prewriting. If you prefer to create an outline or template, it will serve as the exoskeleton of your work. It is going to support and essentially “protect” your content. It will also aid in subduing any mental diversions your beautifully innovative mind may throw at you. Along with the planning, you need to identify what you want to write about and the purpose of the content. To organise your thoughts, jot down any ideas that come to you. By brainstorming various options and outcomes, it enables you to visualise the direction of your work and the thoughts and emotions you want to evoke in your reader.
Once you create your outline and plan accordingly, its time to initiate a rough draft. Let your words and ideas flow. Worry not about structure, grammatical errors, or nonsensical rants. Your rough draft is just the first of many, so don’t strive for perfection and write freely. It’s best to write something everyday, as it instills productive writing habits. Try to rid yourself of distractions and wrangle your thoughts for a few moments a day to dedicate to your writing. As difficult as it can be at times, your dedication always proves it’s worth in the end. Determine the time of day your most creative. Some of us prefer to write in the morning, while others get their creative juices flowing late into the twilight hours.
Revising and editing your work is a tedious, but an absolute necessary. You need to make sure your writing makes sense. Did you give your readers all the information they need? Did you divert from the main purpose of your work? Make additions where necessary and adhere to any word count expectations. Be sure to “trim the fat” or remove excess words, thoughts, or statements that do not bring value to your work. Fine-tuning your work by checking for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Most important, (and effective) is having someone else look at your work. A new, fresh pair of eyes can provide insight and clarity on your writing.
Finally, the light at the end of the literary tunnel! There are numerous outlets for publishing or posting your work. If you choose to submit your writing to journals or magazines, you will need to do some research as to which publications the subject of your writing relates to. The same rule applies to publishing a novel. You must identify the category that aligns with your writing. Try contacting a literary agent or grab a publisher’s attention by emailing your work or attending conferences. Tap into all your writing resources and contacts. Refer to writing journals, certain social media platforms, and writing contests. And remember, writing is not for the weary or the weak of heart. Maintaining that drive and discipline will only serve you success when you experience the euphoria of having your first work published.