When it comes to writing, there are as many methods as there are writers.
All writers have there own way of going about writing.
Some are pansters; who just write the story off the top of their head and let their creativity flow.
Others are more structured when it comes to their writing and use an outline for their entire book.
What works for one writer may not work for another. Everyone needs to find what works best for them when it comes to their writing.
It may require some experimenting.
Experiment to see what time of day or night works best for you.
What location works best for you? Bedroom? Living room? Library? Coffee shop? Etc.
With or without music?
Well anyway, you get the picture.
All writers will find a method that works for them.
However, in my journey as a writer I have found certain practices to be helpful and even essential for all writers.
I have listed 5 practices here that I have found helpful to me as a writer. I hope you find them helpful as well.
Observation 1: Capturing Ideas
Writers should always carry a little notebook or something to write on. When you have an idea it’s important that you write it down right away or as soon as possible.
If you don’t write your ideas down right away when they flash in your mind, you will not remember them.
Even if you think you will remember them later; you most likely won’t.
There have been many times when I got an idea for a book, blog post, chapter scene, character line, title idea, etc. And because I was busy, told myself I would write it down later.
Well guess what?
Later would come and I could not for the life of me remember the idea I had. Or I might have a vague idea of what it was, but couldn’t quite capture it as I originally had.
Even if your not sure you will use the idea, it’s still important to write down all your ideas because you don’t know which ones might be useful for future books or blog posts.
That’s why it’s important to write down your idea’s immediately if possible. Or as soon as you can.
Observation 2: The Title Is Last
Think of a title for your book, blog post, etc. after you have written it.
When you come up with an idea for a blog post, book, etc., the entire book or blog post should be written first. Then come up with a title for the book or blog post.
If you come up with a title first, your writing will be limited because you will be trying to fit your information/writing within the scope of your title.
Instead, write the entire book or blog post first and then come up with a title to fit what you have written about.
Often times your writing will turn out to be something completely different than what you originally intended to write about.
Because as you write, one idea will often flow into another idea and another. And the book or blog post could turn into something other than what you originally thought it would be about.
Your ideas will flow more freely if you just write about an idea rather than trying to fit your writing into a pre-arranged title.
Observation 3: Introduction
The same holds true for the introduction to your book or blog post.
The introduction should be written after you have written the main body of your blog post, or have completed all the chapters of your book.
Because you often will not know exactly what your book or blog post is about until you have written about it.
Once you have completed the body of your work, you will know what to write for the introduction to your book or blog post.
As with the title; if you write the introduction first, you will be limiting your writing to fit in with the introduction you have written.
Observation 4: Just Write
Writers often stare at a blank page for a variety of reasons.
- Perhaps fear of writing the “wrong” thing.
- Not wanting to write unless you know it will be “perfect”.
- No idea what to write.
- Etc., etc., etc.
The solution to this is…….JUST WRITE !
Once you start writing, you will often be amazed at what you can do.
For example, when working with writing prompts, I often have thoughts such as,
“I have know idea how to approach this.”
“I have no idea where to start.”
“I won’t be able to think of a good story.”
“What I come up with won’t be any good or will pale in comparison to what other writers could do with it.”
But then I just write.
I have an initial idea and just start writing about that idea despite the internal chatter in my mind.
And I am often amazed at what I have written.
If you just start writing, the idea’s often start flowing.
It’s almost as if the story is writing itself.
Observation 5: Read
In order to be a good writer, you need to read a lot.
If you are a fiction writer; you will benefit from reading a lot of fiction and writing fiction for at least 10 minutes a day.
Reading a lot of fiction; particularly in the genre you want to write in, will help you learn how to write.
You will see how other authors write and structure their books; and you will learn a lot from them.
Of course the same holds true for non-fiction writers.
How about you? Let us know what works for you as a writer in the comments below.