I’ve been a writer for many years now and it’s how I earn my living. And despite what many people think, writing is work. I don’t sit at home every day doing nothing. I’m working, but I don’t work all day.
Every week I write thousands of words across my websites, blogs, emails, freelance work, books, eBooks, journaling, planning, outlining, researching and more.
So how do I do it?
I have a five-step process that I follow. I’ve been a writer for so long now, that I’ve perfected my processes for every type of writing I do to make it faster and easier. Writing is just like anything we do in that it gets easier with practice, plus we get faster automatically.
My five-step process goes like this:
Idea – plan/outline – research – write – edit.
Idea. Any writing project starts with an idea. I never like to miss one because they disappear as quickly as they appear, so I write each and every one of them down even if I don’t need it straight away. It’s great to have an ideas notebook to browse through.
Plan/Outline. Every writing project (or any project) needs a plan, which is also known as an outline. Even if I don’t have all the information I need, I’ll add notes for what I need to research to complete the project. Which leads to the next step.
Research. Once I know exactly what I’ll be writing, I then do any necessary research which can be as simple as finding a suitable quote or looking up how other people tackled a particular problem I’m writing about.
Write. This is the fun part. With my outline open beside me, I work my way through it, writing up everything I want to cover, plus I add my research notes in the appropriate places too. If I’m writing fiction, I still use an outline and I sometimes need to do research to check facts.
Edit. This is the final step and should always be done last. I never edit as I write. Even when I think I’m going wrong I still keep writing and I don’t stop to correct anything. If I can’t spell a word I misspell it or leave a blank space. I also try and leave at least a couple of days between writing and editing so that I can read it with ‘fresh eyes.’ And I usually find that whenever I thought I was going wrong with my writing, I wasn’t. I was just too close to it at the time.
And that’s my five-step process.
The most important thing to remember is that the writing won’t do itself, no matter how much we’d like it to.
So you have to apply butt to chair and start writing.
Often, starting is the hardest thing. Doing something is easy. Starting can be difficult.
But once you do start, you’ll find that you can easily write thousands words every single day.
And below is the suitable quote that I researched for this piece of writing:
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
~ Mark Twain
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