In a recent comment for one of my blogs, I was asked what my writing approach was, and I honestly don’t think I had previously described the way I write. So here goes.
My approach is straightforward and very old-school. My biggest problem is the time to do the writing. My three current blogs ( I have had others) are my hobbies. I have a day (and then some) job as a Tech consultant.
The Steps of My Writing Process
Basically, I follow this pattern when writing blog articles and books:
Capture Writing Ideas
A successful writing strategy relies on effectively and efficiently capturing your thoughts. This is the quickest and most efficient way to craft an informative, captivating manuscript.
Writers draw inspiration from everywhere and nothing, so we must have an organized system for storing and retrieving those pre-ideas that float around in our heads like puffy white clouds.
A reliable system for capturing ideas ensures you never run out of them. Plus, it reduces the need to spend time looking up information and more time writing them down – which can be invaluable when it comes to finishing projects on time.
You can use a few simple tools to capture your writing ideas. You could opt for digital apps like Evernote or traditional notebooks and journals; alternatively, write down your thoughts in simple forms such as Post-it notes or blank index cards.
Another useful way to capture your ideas is by recording them on a recording device. This could be as straightforward as an audio player on your phone or voice recorder.
Finally, one of the best ways to develop the habit of recording your ideas is to always keep a pen and paper handy. This could be in an organized notebook or by your bedside table.
Organize and Schedule Articles
When working on writing projects, being organized is essential, is key. Struggling to locate notes and ideas in multiple places will make it difficult to focus on what needs to be written; thus, you may spend less time crafting and more searching for what you require.
Before beginning any writing task, it is important to determine how much work you plan to complete each day. Avoid overcommitting yourself, as this could become a tedious chore and cause you to lose interest in the process.
Another essential step is to set aside time for something other than writing; this can help avoid burnout. Additionally, it allows for rejuvenation and reinvigoration, giving you the chance to do other enjoyable things without compromising your writing routine.
Maintaining an effective writing routine is essential, as it can mean the difference between success and failure. Furthermore, having a productive schedule helps prevent procrastination from getting in the way of progress.
Writing a schedule can be beneficial, but it must be properly created and implemented. Sometimes you run out of ideas or don’t feel inspired to write; this may indicate that your mind isn’t at its most creative.
A great way to combat this is by doing some research and finding an idea that captures your interest. This could be a new genre or style of writing – though this can be daunting at times, the rewards can be immense when you discover a story concept that excites and thrills you.
An outline is invaluable for organizing your thoughts, ideas, and research. Additionally, it ensures that your essay or paper is clear, concise, and practical.
An effective outline should be a comprehensive list of ideas, each clearly labeled with appropriate heading and subheading tags. Furthermore, it should include a thesis statement at the start of each section and supporting evidence within each body paragraph.
If you’re not a naturally gifted writer or find it challenging to compose quality work, an outline is an ideal tool to organize your efforts and guarantee high-quality output. However, creating an effective outline takes effort and practice.
The initial step in crafting an outline is deciding on your topic. This involves understanding why you are creating it, your intended audience, and any new or controversial information that must be included.
Once you have a firm grasp on your topic, it’s time to dive in and begin the writing process. Start by crafting an initial draft, using your outline as a guide as you refine and clarify it further.
Depending on your writing style, you can opt for a comprehensive outline that is easily modified as necessary or one with more fluidity. Decimal or alphanumeric outlines are popular but other formats such as bullet points, numbers and letters or mind maps can also be utilized when crafting an outline.
I tend to keep this simple to provide flexibility when writing. Usually;
- I outline my header levels/titles.
- I never write without an outline, even the small stuff. Outlining has become second nature for me.
Gather Materials and Research
The most daunting aspect of any writing project is selecting what information to convey in what order. Here are a few tricks for success as you sift through the various documents vying for your attention:
- Use a template as a starting point;
- Enlist the assistance of trusted, knowledgeable people on research tasks if needed;
- Confirm you are using authoritative sources, not just trash from social media or the Internet–all reference sources are not equally creditable.
- I gather my article research materials and load my project cart shelf with books, printed articles, and a USB stick with electric reference materials.
- Go through the research material and bookmark any important and relevant information I may use.
Draft Article Content
Fast drafting is an effective writing technique that enables writers to compose a first draft without worrying about its final form or composition. It’s an advantageous approach when beginning your story because it will enable you to identify what works and doesn’t work in the finished, edited manuscript. Fast drafting can efficiently get your story off the ground; it helps you identify what works and doesn’t work.
But it’s not for everyone! Some writers struggle to maintain the pace they need to produce their writing, while others may experience overwhelming doubts and fears during this early stage of their craft.
When opting for a fast-drafting approach, it’s essential that you set aside time for writing each day. Aim to dedicate at least an hour or more each day just for writing.
You can use a variety of rough-draft writing techniques to quickly and efficiently complete your first draft. For best results, write small chunks at a time – several times daily – so you don’t become overwhelmed and quit before completion.
If you need support with your writing goals, join the Novel Academy community of writers striving to reach their goal of finishing their first novel. Here, you’ll be able to connect with other people pursuing similar objectives and connect with a writing coach who can keep you motivated along the way.
I write without editing or spell-checking until I run out of information and add relevant research, if any, is being used.
Edit Article And Proof
Editing and proofreading are crucial steps in writing as they guarantee your work is error-free. Furthermore, they help prevent plagiarism.
A qualified editor will double-check your article for grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes and correctly cite your research sources. They also ensure that each paragraph follows logically organized principles and adheres to journal guidelines concerning structure, formatting, and referencing.
Your article may include supporting graphics and photographs, which you can add after editing and proofreading. These will enhance the reader’s experience and break up lengthy text passages.
Once you’ve finished editing and proofreading your article, take a fresh look at it and make any necessary modifications. Doing this gives you one last opportunity to catch any errors that may have slipped through while writing.
- Apply SEO Optimization for the Article body.
- Add paragraph headers/titles.
- Reduce or eliminate pronouns (it, they, these, them, etc..)
Add Article Graphics
- Go get my pictures and graphics to flesh it out. This usually means taking them from my own photo repository, but it sometimes means taking additional pictures.
- Add graphics.
- Perform SEO optimization on graphics properties and descriptions.
- I check my base keyword lists
- Add additional words appropriate to the content
- Add hashtags
- Add long-tail keywords
Add Categories And Tags
- I choose my categories, paying attention to the hierarchy to avoid missing parent-child relationships.
- Add only topic-specific tags
Choose Social Network Publication Channels
- Choose the social network site, if any, to which I think it should be published.
Add Related References
- Add internal and, if appropriate, external reference links to other articles