Every writer has a process.
1. I sit down with an idea, see that blank screen, and say, “Oh no, I don’t know what I’m doing. Is this even going to work? I suck.” You know, the usual.
2. I write. If I need to do research (which is usually the case), I do that first. But the important part is just writing.
3. Once I’m finished and I’ve edited everything to acceptable levels (whatever that means), I sit back and say, “Oh, okay. That wasn’t so bad. Turned out pretty good, in fact.”
When I start my next project or article, it’s right back to “Oh no,” and the process repeats itself.
My point is, writing is a very imprecise, spontaneous, and unpredictable craft. And above all else, it’s specific to the individual. There aren’t any steadfast tips or tricks to getting it done. You just kind of do it.
More importantly, you do it your way.
That’s why I question a lot of the “advice” I see out there, and why I’ve always been uncomfortable doing the whole “writing tips” thing on this very blog (I’ve shied away from it recently).
Add in the fact that most of it is regurgitated, anyway, and there’s not much point. We’ve seen it all before.
Now, obviously, I’m not talking about grammar tips, the finer points of blogging, the technical stuff, or even articles on creativity and inspiration. Those are cool and can be helpful, in my opinion.
No, what I’m talking about are things like “10 Ways Your Writing Is Like A Coconut” or “How Writing Upside Down Covered In Peanut Butter Will Improve Your Sentence Structure.”
I’m guilty of doing that, too. But really.
Is it actually helpful?
Would writing blogs have helped Hemingway or Bradbury or Salinger become better writers?
Image courtesy HeatherHeatherHeather.