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

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

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..

Improve Your Writing: The Free Content Library

Writing Genii Free Ebooks
New Writing Genii is finally relaunched, and with it, our Free Content Library. If you want to improve your writing, check it out. Currently, we have three free ebooks for you to download, with many more coming.

In the press release, I said:

Over time, Writing Genii’s Free Content Library will develop into a powerful resource for both new writers, and established writers. New writers will discover how to develop a professional career. Established writers can build skills in an area which is new to them.

Please tell me what you need

Everyone’s a writer today, so please tell me what you need. Of course we’ll have ebooks for professional writers, but there will be ebooks on creativity, developing your writing skills, productivity, and much more.

I’d love to hear what YOU want to know more about. Over the years, I’ve learned many tricks to help me to write, and enjoy writing. Believe me, I didn’t start out as a confident writer. Although I loved to read (and still do, of course) I HATED writing with a passion. it took years to get over my fear.

My perfectionism got into the way, which meant that I was the queen of procrastination. When I did sit down to write at my IBM Selectric, I wept. Seriously. I’ve no idea why I kept going with writing. Sheer masochism. So, if I got over my abject terror about writing — and endless procrastination, YOU can too. :-)

Here’s how I got over my fear of writing, in a nutshell: I focused on the words. Only on the words. A seminar with Larry Block at the Vista Hotel in New York in 1985 helped too: Larry encouraged meditation. Larry’s book of the seminar is available; check it out.

Who’s Writing Genii for?

Anyone who wants to write. Anyone who has to write. Anyone who wants to use writing to improve their business. Or write a book.

Business is all about communication. Essentially, I hope that Writing Genii will grow into a resource which will help you to communicate, even if you think you can’t write. Even if you think that, remember that I started out with tears rolling down my face. You’re not that bad, are you? ;-)

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

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Quotes: How to Avoid Writing Blocks

Here’s one of my favorite writing quotes from poet and writing teacher William Stafford:

“I believe that the so-called ‘writing block’ is product of some kind of disproportion between your standards and your performance… One should lower his standards until there is no felt threshold to go over in writing. It’s easy to write.

“You shouldn’t have standards that inhibit you from writing… It really doesn’t make any difference if you are good or bad today. The assessment of the product is something that happens after you’ve done it.”

writing quotes: stafford

Do you save writing quotes?

I keep a collection of writing quotes for inspiration, and the above quote by William Stafford is one of my favorites. It’s helpful if you’re judgmental of your writing.

Of course you need to judge and edit your writing, but never while you’re writing. If you judge as you’re writing, you’ll choke, and you’ll think that writing is hard.

How to avoid judging your writing while you’re writing…

I’ve found these strategies useful.

  • Pre-write. Create clusters, or mind maps before you start writing;
  • Set a goal for your writing, in writing. Write about what you want to achieve in a couple of sentences. Example: “In this scene, I want to introduce the prime suspect. Our detective realizes that he’s lying about where he was on the night of the murder.”
  • Write. Accept what you’re writing. Writing is always a partnership between your subconscious and your conscious mind. Your subconscious leads, so writing is always discovery. No judging. :-)
  • Once you’ve finished writing, you can read what you’ve written, but don’t start editing immediately. Leave your writing for a few hours if you can.

I agree with Stafford that common writing blocks occur because we’re trying to hit an imaginary standard. (Blocks may also occur if we’re stressed, or unwell.)

As he suggests, lower your standards. You’ll be surprised at how much easier your writing becomes. And you’ll be even more surprised when you meet your own standards, and have fun with your writing. When I’m coaching my writing students, we do lots of exercises so that they train themselves to write easily, without judging.

Here are some writing exercises you can try. They work.

Tip: if you find you’re blocked, you may find my Easy Write Process program useful. It includes lots of exercises.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.