Writing Process: Build Up Your Writing To Write Faster And Better

Writing Process: Build Up Your Writing To Write Faster And Better

Professional writers have a writing process. For everything. For fiction, nonfiction — there’s always a process. Beginning writers write, but pro writers build.

They start by creating the raw material. In my Top 70 Writing Tips, I called creating your raw materials making mud:

Look on all the writing you do as “making mud”. Be exuberant and messy.

You can do a lot with your mud. Just as you can build entire houses with mud bricks, you can write articles, novels, nonfiction books, short stories, essays, memoirs – in short, you can write anything and everything, if you make the basic building material, the “mud” first.

You can relax when you tell yourself that you’re just making mud

Once you realize that you’re just “making mud” when you’re writing, you stop worrying. There’s nothing serious about mud. You just write, and you know that you’ll sort out your creations later.

I’m winding up a long fiction project, and am planning a new trilogy. I’ve started creating the mud:

  • Scene locations
  • Character attributes and descriptions
  • Potential flaws for my main characters
  • And so on…

Usually I write my mud, and never look at it again. Its sole purpose is to kickstart my subconscious mind. At heart, I’m a fiction-writing pantser, but I know the plot points I have to hit, so I plan them in advance. That gives me a rough framework on which to hang my fiction.

By the way, if you’re not a fiction writer, a “pantser” is someone who writes by the seat of their pants, doing minimal plotting

This new project is a trilogy, so I’m planning the overall plot arcs… by making mud.

You need lots of materials to create anything

New authors want to write a project from go to whoa. It’s possible to do that, and sometimes you’ll manage it. However, it’s stressful.

Making mud is easier. It’s faster, too. You’ll also find that your writing inevitably improves, because you’re not insisting that your writing be perfect, at any stage.

The “mud” process is essential when you’re writing marketing materials. I explain my building-blocks process for copywriting in Copywriting for Writers. You create copy blocks, and then you put them together to write a sales page or series of advertisements, or whatever copy you’re writing.

Start a project by asking yourself what you need to create for that project

Write down the answer. “Write for this project I need”… and start thinking on paper.

Please do this.

I encourage my writing students to think on paper (or on the computer screen), because it saves time. Writers get stuck on projects because they haven’t broken down the project into tasks, and then they try to start writing immediately, without any form of pre-writing.

You can look on making mud as a form of prewriting. Essentially, it breaks your inertia, so you get moving on your projects.

Try it yourself. When making mud becomes part of your writing process, you’ll write more, and much more easily.

Make more ebook sales of all your fiction, when you write a serial

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Fiction serials are platform-builders… consider writing at least one. Not only does a serial build your confidence, it also builds readers’ confidence in you. They’ll join your mailing list, and this has huge benefits for ebooks you’ve already published, and ebooks you’ll publish in future.

Write a serial with our new four-week class, Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

3 Easy Web Content Tips: Meet Your Writing Goals

3 Easy Web Content Tips: Meet Your Writing Goals

Whether you love writing or hate it, you need to meet your goals for creating Web content. Content development may be part of your day job, or it may be your job. Either way, you need workflows to not only create content, but also to manage it.

Over the years, I’ve come to enjoy writing. That hasn’t always been so. I struggled with writing for years. Looking back, I was just scared. Fear can masquerade as procrastination, and perfectionism. I was convinced I wasn’t “good enough”. Yes, my writing sold, but I measured myself against writers I admired.

Eventually I realized that although I might want to improve my skills, I had to write anyway, so I might as well do it and enjoy it. Can you imagine a bricklayer deciding that he couldn’t do his job and build a house today because he wasn’t “good enough”?

Tip: the way you write is the way you write. As long as your writing gets the job done, you’ve succeeded. Chances are you’re better than you think you are. Look back on writing you did a year ago. You’ve improved, and you’ll continue to get better. ;-)

Let’s look at three easy Web content tips which will help you to meet your writing goals.

1. Carrot and Stick: Create Fast.

What do you do when you need to write fast, but can’t get out of your own head?

You use 750words.com. The developer says:

I’ve used the exercise as a great way to think out loud without having to worry about half-formed ideas, random tangents, private stuff, and all the other things in our heads that we often filter out before ever voicing them or writing about them. It’s a daily brain dump. Over time, I’ve found that it’s also very helpful as a tool to get thoughts going that have become stuck, or to help get to the bottom of a rotten mood.

750words.com is a way to just say yourself: “Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead!” – and write.

750words.com just asks you to write. It’s a carrot: write 750 words, and you’ve done it. Write or Die on the other hand, applies the stick – there are consequences if you don’t write. Several of my students report great success with Write or Die.

Currently I’m using Write or Die to help me to write romance fiction, because I’ve set myself a demanding schedule. I love Write or Die because it doesn’t care whether I want to write or not. Nor does it care that I have a headache. When it’s time to Write or Die, you just do it.

2. Manage the Content Flood: Get Organized.

I’ve often talked about Trello, and Evernote. Both apps help me to get organized and stay organized. I commend both to you.

Both apps help you to collaborate with others. Create shared notebooks in Evernote for your editorial team on a project. In Trello, create boards, and invite people to the board.

3. Plan, Plan and PLAN: Schedule Content Creation and Management.

We’ve discussed planning too. PLAN. Enough said. You can achieve much more than you think you can, as long as you plan and schedule everything.

On my WordPress blogs, I use Editorial Calendar and the Drafts Dropdown plugins to schedule content. Although Drafts Dropdown hasn’t been updated in a while, it works great.

Try these three tips. They work. You’ll create more, and better, Web content than you think you can. Happy writing. :-)

Is writing a real challenge for you?

If you’re not meeting your writing goals, consider coaching. I coach writers every day. Get in touch.  

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.