I've been asked many times about the process I use in writing a book. These are some of my thoughts on that... (also see this blog of mine)
As a journalist for getting close to 40 years (Wow! Time flies when you're having fun!), I have always worked with deadlines. I continued setting my own deadlines for projects when I began freelancing and operating my own business. Some days, deadlines are easier to meet than others, but it is important to set up a process that you follow each and every time you write. That will lead to greater success in achieving the result you want.
These are steps I follow:
- Set aside some time to work on the piece. Whether it is a few hours every day for a certain period of time or a few days in a row where you work on nothing but the one project, this will help you to get your writing done. I also find that once I start a project, I want to keep going to get it finished ... so the most important part is really just starting.
- Minimize distractions. Go to a comfortable spot in your room, house, garden or wherever it is that you like to write and remove yourself from distractions if possible. Some people can write well with the TV or music playing in the background. I am not one of those people. I need to concentrate only on what I am writing without interruption from a catchy song, awesome video or chatty friends or family. As much as I'd like to do so, I have to turn off the Olympics on TV so I can concentrate more fully on work right now. (Decades ago, I began working from an office in our home, so my family long ago learned that when I failed to acknowledge their presence, it meant I was working and they should step quietly away or wait until I stopped to chat with them. Thank you, understanding family!)
- Think about what you want to write well before you sit down to write it. What do you want to say? How do you want to make your point(s)? Will you have tips or questions for your readers? Are you going to include comments from one or two or more people? What's the most important thing you want to say and where in your written piece do you want to say it? Some times, it is easier to write than others. If you have at least the beginnings of a plan before you sit down to write, you will waste less time in the writing process and you'll likely come out the other end with a more meaningful piece.
And here's a pretty distraction for you... a beautiful day lily.