What’s your writing process?
Most of the time, when I ask people that question, they don’t know how to answer. Because they don’t have a writing process.
Instead, they have problems. In fact, when I ask people this question, half the time they just start describing their problems to me, as if the problems themselves were the process.
“I wait until an idea strikes me…” Stop right there. If you have to wait, you don’t have a system for creating ideas. You’re reliant on the mysteries of inspiration. You cannot have a viable career. This isn’t a process, this is a problem.
And so on.
I don’t have all the answers about the best ways for writers to work, because writers are not all the same. However, I pay attention to what is working for me and I test different methods of working.
I went through eleven years of university and developed a host of working methods while completing my PhD. Some worked well and some were disasters. I have interviewed hundreds of artists about how they work, from musicians like Frank Black of The Pixies and filmmakers like Guy Maddin to novelists like Eden Robinson.
I study this stuff, and test it out, and report back to you. Whatever you do, please, make sure you make an intentional decision about what you will do and then do it! Writers so often just randomly do things because the mood struck them, and then they get stuck in a loop of believing that because it worked or didn’t work this is a law of nature.
I’m reading business books and testing productivity software so you don’t have to, and I’m being mindful about building methods that work for me. Some of these working methods will work for you.
Below, you’ll find all of my podcasts and articles that discuss productivity and working methods. If you have a problem or a tip that isn’t addressed here, please contact me and tell me about it.
- February 24 — Tracking Your Writing Progress with Jamie Raintree
- February 1 — 4 Principles for a Writer’s Office
- November 25 — Joining a Literary Community with Ryan Fitzpatrick
- November 4 — Launching The National Gallery with Gary Barwin
- October 22 — Thriller Author Andrew Pyper On Writing Outlines
- June 25 — Advice from the Ghost Ship
- March 5 — Having Too Many Ideas
- February 18 — Reframing Rejection
- January 22 — Why Fear Experimental Art?
- January 8 — Your Manuscript Format Reveals Your Mindset
- December 25 — Be Generous to Be a Better Writer
- December 18 — 5 Startling Productivity Secrets for Serious Scribes
- December 11 — Angie Abdou on Research for Fiction Writers
- December 4 — Making Comics with GMB Chomichuk, part 2
- November 27 — Making Comics with GMB Chomichuk, part 1
- October 23 — My Daughter Jessie Taylor On Writing Confidence
- September 25 — Failed Projects
- September 11 — Reading for Writers
- September 4 — Foundations for Creative Practice