IN MY PREVIOUS post, I mentioned a resolution to redesign my writing code to simplify and, most importantly, declutter my whole writing process.
But how would you do that?
If you choose the self-teaching method, you learn how to write in three different ways: (1) by reading other writers, (2) by reading books on writing, and (3) by writing.
But when you do that, you accumulate a thousand different ideas and lessons about the same thing.
So, to simplify and declutter my writing process, I’m working as if I were writing a book. Scattered ideas on the floor. Trying to make sense of them. Creating sections and chapters and an index.
I know. You’re already sniffing at my process.
But, right now, I have thousands and thousands of mental sticky notes spread over my mind floor, and I’m setting out to gather and group them all while getting rid of what I don’t need, merging ideas into simple paragraphs or code lines, and just making it plain.
Here’s an example. I believe that outlining is crucial for any writing process. Whatever you say. That’s what works for me. Period.
But there are many ways to do it. You can write plot points in bullets, you can create a spreadsheet or a table with scenes and sequels. You can do it as a mind map. And I could go on and on and on.
But I found out that when I write my outline as a raw first draft in the format of a very short story or a simplified screenplay, it works better for me. I not only enjoy the process a lot more, but it also helps me get into a more creative state. And it gives me a lot of freedom and comfort to dive into that part of writing.
So, in this “redesigning”, I’m storing the million ways to outline, that I’ve learned, in a memory box called “outlining processes” and the way that it works for me goes to the actual and main function programming. In other words, I’m just using in my writing code what works and makes sense.
I know it all sounds a bit robotic, and you might be reading this and thinking “this is not the way I see my writing” or “this whole techie approach will kill my creativity” or even “I produce better when I take my pants off and embrace the chaos”, but I can assure you that decluttering is the key I found to strengthen my writing.
And that’s the true idea here: learn how everybody does it, then choose the way you want to do it based on what makes sense to you and how it works better in your experience.
As a last image to illustrate that process. Think of yourself as a person who learned different languages. And you have a hundred language books on a shelf. Now say you just use English and German in your life, and you need more space for different books on that shelf.
What I would do is put other language books in a box for when I need them and leave just English and German books there for my daily reference, creating some room for the other books I want to put on that shelf.
Does that all make any sense to you? And, tell me, if you also decided to redesign your writing process today, where would you start?