Hey there. According to Roy Peter Clark, there are seven steps to write. If you take writing as a process, a set of steps, here’s what he suggests:
➊ GET STARTED. Think about what to write, work on ideas, research.
➋ GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER. Create habits, get organized, find what you need and when you need it, and keep it all simple.
➌ FIND FOCUS. Define the story, think of writing as a problem-solving process, and keep the right mindset.
➍ LOOK FOR LANGUAGE. Sharpen your language skills, read more, and try to find out how to use language for a particular effect or use words with intention. At the same time, don’t let diction perfectionism slow you down.
➎ BUILD A DRAFT. Outline, plan or do whatever works for you to build a consistent draft without procrastinating or feeling blocked. (I know that part is hard af, but it’s true).
➏ ASSESS YOUR PROGRESS. Work on deadlines and celebrate milestones, make a pause to see where you’re going, and don’t worry about rushing or slowing down. Just be aware of the way you work, and find where it can improve.
➐ MAKE IT BETTER. Revise, edit, proofread. Leave that part to the end, and reserve some good energy for that. But only at the end.
If you want to read more about it, I recommend HELP! FOR WRITERS, by Roy Peter Clark. It’s a great book, focused on problem-solving, written clearly and straightforwardly.
But let’s go back: what do you think? Those steps are not written in stone, they’re not commandments, but they sure help a lot when you’re kinda lost in the craft. Sometimes the “just do it” motto is not enough because we don’t always know HOW to “just do it.”
■ Let me ask you something: if you could make it all shorter, what would be your THREE steps to write?
— or —
■ …if you don’t have a clue, tell me something else: what is your biggest struggle when you’re writing?
first on @beardbetweenthelines ↓