Write Now: Don’t Change Your Writing Process If It Works For You
I have written before about the writing process.
The writing process has five components: brainstorming, rough draft, editing, revising, and publishing.
Some writers follow it with their own tweaks, and some writers don’t follow it and make up their own process and plan.
Whatever way you get your words to the page is the best for you. Unless you are stuck, don’t change your process. It works for you.
But if you are stuck, then you can change what you want.
Unless you have already published your words, there is no rule that dictates that you have to keep what you have written.
So, with that in mind, you are free to change anything.
If you are writing a novel and you think your first chapter needs an overhaul, then give it an overhaul. Save your original first chapter, and either add to it, or start fresh from some other perspective. The good thing is that you may even get to use some of the words, sentences, ideas, and motifs that you previously used. That’s the beauty of it, revision I mean.
The same applies to scholarly writing as well. If you think your thesis needs to be reworked because it needs to be more focused, then rewrite your thesis. The ironic thing about writing a thesis is that the writing usually ends up writing his thesis during the conclusion. The reason is the paper is written and he is summing up for the reader what he has just written about. He has gathered and written so much information, that at the end, the thesis is more clear and concise. The next time you write a scholarly paper, you may want to rewrite your conclusion. It’s worth a try if it will make your position clearer.
The writing process is there as a guide. It’s a great guide if you are having trouble getting from one component to another. Sometimes writers have a great brainstorming session and they commit all of their ideas to paper or to the screen. The real test is when they try to get one of their ideas off the ground. That’s the catch. For the most part, one or two of your ideas will clank around in your head for a while. You mull over how to start the story. You have all the particulars in place, but the beginning nags at you. Don’t let the idea nag at for too long, or you may forget what you wanted to write about. Rather, get some words down on the page.
You can always change your mind and revise your words. And through your revision, you may strike gold and find the heart of your beginning, and from there, your novel or novella gains speed. It’s because you used the process to help you find your words. Maybe you set down your pieces for week or two and then revisited them. To you it looked fresh, and you saw what you could revise to make it better.
Sometimes a writer is too close to his writing, and has to take a step back for clarity, and to let his words breathe.
I do this. Even when I am writing this column or a feature story, I will write on one day, and then revise the next day. I then give it to an editor to be proofed. I like having more than one pair of eyes proof my work. For me, it’s part of my process.
It’s also a part of other writers’ plans, too.
I guess it depends on what one’s plan is.
Don’t walk away from your words.
They don’t walk away from you.