What’s my writing process? I’ll provide a list:
- I have to start writing or typing. Whether it’s a superb idea or not, I need to write to allow my thoughts to flow.
- I have music on at decent amount of volume when I brainstorm by writing. And I leave the music on for my first draft of anything. Absolute silence drives me nuts. However, I cannot write while watching television.
- I need to be alone to write. Some in-class writing projects have become a bit difficult because I need 1, 2, & 3 to concentrate. But I can write in coffee shops as long as no one is breathing on my neck about my assignment, such as when I’m in class. And as long there isn’t a crowd talking & laughing Loling.
- I pause to contemplate on what I have written, and this is when I begin to edit and copy and paste paragraphs and sentences.
- When I finish step 4, I read the whole thing once again (no music here for me). So this is when I repeat step 4.
- Finally, I leave it alone for about 10 minutes to 15 minutes. If I can have a day off my writing, that’s even better!
- I then use the NaturalReaders app. It’s an app that has both male and female voices to read your work back to you. You can also change the speed, such as slowing it down or speeding up. I got this fantastic idea from Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors by Kathy. I feel NaturalReader is a genius idea because our brains have the tendency of reading what we think we wrote. NaturalReader helps with that biased perception of our mind. And guess what? I catch a lot more things I missed when I read it on my own first. Sighs…
- If I can annoy someone to read my work, that’s even better! But most of the time I don’t have a reader, and that’s why I had to find extra tools, such as NaturalReader to help me with my writing.
- Even after using the app, I give my essays, stories, or anything one last read.
What I’m doing to improve my writing:
- I am reading Who’s (Oops) Whose Grammar Book Is This Anyway? All the Grammar You Need to Succeed in Life by C. Edward Good.
- As I mentioned, I’m reading, Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors by Kathy
- I also started reading (and I recommend this one too even if you have more experience than a beginner writer) The Train-of-Thought Writing Method: Practical User-Friendly Help for Beginning Writers by Kathy Macias
- And of course, I am trying to write every day. I also go through my writing and highlight grammar issues, awkward phrasing, and other unfortunate, unavoidable mistakes due to my imperfect humanity…grrrrrrr…it makes me so angry that I can’t write an entire draft with absolute perfection. But no one can, right? Not even the most extraordinary writers, I’m assuming.
The Great ideas I keep near my heart to become a better writer & not faint in the process:
- “I think that’s God’s way of showing us how imperfect we all are![grammar issues,]” (Ide)
- “E.L Doctorow once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, I have ever heard” (Lamott).
- “It is said that writing is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration…Inspiration—or coming with ideas—is the easy part…They [ dedicated beginning writers] are willing to devote themselves to the not-so-fun, open-the-vein part of writing—the 90 percent perspiration” (Macias).
- Finally, a friend of mine, writer Tiberius Engle said, “Don’t compare yourself to other writers.” (follow his website found below this post on the works cited)
My advice, work hard for what you want and work on your craft as much as possible. Learning is an ongoing process until our very last breath. We’re all at different levels, and that’s okay. Ultimately, you need to enjoy your writing. But you need to BLEED too.
What’s your process? What’s your advice?
Engle, Tiberius. http://tiberiusengle.squarespace.com/
Ide, Kathy. Proofreading Secrets of Best-selling Authors. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Good, C. Edward. Who’s (… Oops!) Whose Grammar Book Is This Anyway? New York: Barnes& Noble, 2002. Print.
Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor Division of Random House, Inc., 1994. Print.
Macias, Kathi. The Train-of-thought Writing Method: Practical, User-friendly Help for Beginning Writers. Bloomington, IN: Author House, 2007. Print.