What is Your Writing Process of Choice?

Approaches to Storycraft

Some writers are overwhelmed by the need to tell a story, caring only about letting the story loose onto the page, wildly spilling forth the characters, setting, and problems, like an adventurer without a map. Other writers are methodical, controlled, and deliberate; their need to tell a story may still be great, but their approach is more like that of a hunter tracking prey.

It may either encourage or frustrate you to be told that there is no one single or right approach to writing. As with everything else, what works for one writer may not work for another. This is all because of your natural writing forces. Finding your writing pace and discovering which processes work best for you is necessarily a product of practice and search pursued by writing every day (Time Warrior’s), or on a regular basis.

Let’s explore the two different extremes of writing process…

 

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How do you stay accountable to your writing?

Coaching Tips and Guides

One of the many grumblings I hear among people on social media is that they struggle with self-management = accountability. This includes sticking to goals, organization, time, attention/distraction. As lone wolves, writers are forced to rely on themselves to get the work done, however they planned it. Or didn’t plan it. Many writers set a goal and chug through till it’s accomplished. Set a new goal, chug through that till it’s accomplished. So on and so forth. Some writers do well with this, and they don’t need outside support.

Many writers who spend more time in a writing cave than out and about in the bustling world tend to have less of a handle on productivity and self-management. Speaking for myself, if I could spend all day in my nether worlds with my characters I would, dinner and kid pick-up after school be damned.

But I have real-world obligations that actually force me to step out of my cave and act like a normal person…

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How to Write with an Inner Critic

Inspiration, Magic, and Creativity

My inner critic first visited me when I was in junior high school, and she has never left. I christened her ‘Eris’ after I took a mythology course. I thought it was appropriate.

If Eris were a character in a novel, I would describe her as a dangerously beautiful pirate, no doubt. Long black hair. Pale complexion. Swift with a sword. Stealthy, unfair, judgmental, and cruel. But she loves birds. Maybe she would have a pet raven or hawk. She spends her time sailing through my writer self at her whim. She has full reign there. No story is safe. She squashes them all with the toe of her crocodile skin boot.

But why the hatred of my stories? What is so terrible about my writer self that she feels necessary to stomp upon and light afire?

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And You’re a Writer

Approaches to Storycraft

When someone comes up to me and tells me they’ve been struggling with setting up daily writing habits, committing to a writing practice, or even time management (fitting writing into a busy lifestyle), one of the first questions I will ask:

Have you identified yourself as a writer?

Identity is one of the key foundational elements to a writing journey. There is very little success or forward progress for anyone who doesn’t believe that they are a writer. And yet, it’s one of the most common areas that writers forget to nurture.

About eight years ago, my husband, two children, and I were in a taxi. The cabbie asked my husband what he did for a living. They shared a small exchange before the cabbie looked at me in the rear-view mirror and asked me what I do for a living.

I said, “I take care of these two sugar cubes,” referring to my two children sitting on either side of me.

My son Riley looked up at me and said, “And you’re a writer.”

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Why you should know your writing purpose

Approaches to Storycraft

One of the top struggles I hear about from writers is the inability to finish a project. Reasons run the gamut from “not having enough time” to “lost confidence.” Rather than tangling ourselves up with figuring out methods on HOW to finish, I want you to focus on WHY you are a writer.

Because writing purpose is the foundation of your journey.

Your purpose is what drives you. Your purpose is what keeps you motivated. Your purpose is what supports and encourages you through the tough spots.

You have to ask yourself:

  • “Why am I a writer?”
  • “Why is this story rattling around in my soul?”
  • “Why is this story keeping me up at night?”
  • “What do I see myself, as a writer, doing in five years? Ten?”
  • “How will I feel if I don’t write?”
  • “How does writing make me feel when it’s going well? When it’s going not so well?”

If you can figure any of that out—and hopefully your answers aren’t tied in any way to making a lot of money, because that’s not going to happen, certainly not with your first publication—you have then found the motivation to finish your project. To get your butt in the chair and write every single day.

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