How I Write

In 10 simple steps, my creative process for blogging and writing short stories:

  • Step 1 – Have an idea. Possibly mine said idea out of twitter, emails, conversations, comments, or creative friends
  • Step 2 – Start writing something. Be unhappy with it, but write anyway. Keep writing until you have something kind of sort of like your idea (or not, sometimes ideas suck and sometimes they are shapeshifty and hard to pin down.)
  • Step 3 – Ask for outside input, then accept or reject said input. Often, realize that your friends are smarter and better writers than you are, and might be more qualified to write the post.
  • Step 4 – Realize the post is totally discombobulated, and might actually be three posts. Remove the parts that aren’t relevant, rearrange the paragraphs twice. Start two new posts with the various other ideas, realizing they’ll probably never get written.
  • Step 5 – Make sure it actually makes sense. Realize it doesn’t, fix a couple of sentences, add clarification. Delete clarification. Add it back.
  • Step 6 – Adjust flow, pacing, sentence length, and how many times you use the word “that”. Check for repeated words. Make sure you don’t start every sentence with “You,” “I,” or “It.” Decide you suck at writing upon realizing 2/3 of your sentences start with “You”, “I”, or “It”.
  • Step 7 – Repeat step 6. Probably twice.
  • Step 8 – Read it. Then, read it again. Realize you hate the second paragraph. Repeat Step 6 on the second paragraph three times… and then undo half of it.
  • Step 9 – Have someone else read it. Argue with them when they say it’s good and you should publish it. Edit the second paragraph again. Decide you hate your idea, but you’ve put all this time into it, so you might as well post the damn thing. Tinker with the conclusion anyway.
  • Step 10 – Say “to hell with this” and hit publish.

(Steps 11 and 12 – realize you typo’d something, have a bad comma, forgot to tag and categorize your post, screwed up a sentence, or possibly said something you didn’t mean. Edit the post twice. Or fourteen times.)

10 thoughts on “How I Write

  1. Sounds… about like my writing process! Though steps 11 & 12 are more like 11-23 for me because I always hit the “Update Post” button before I’ve read through the whole thing and end up fixing one. typo. at. a. time.

  2. @Jaedia – sometimes! Though frequently the posts I work the hardest on get the fewest comments. Go figure!

  3. @Lauren – yeah… me too. Or I’ll be reading along and realize that fixing one thing made the pronouns at the other side of the sentence clash. Oops.

  4. My process can charitably be described as…more streamlined.

    Step 1: Peck furiously at the keyboard.

    Step 2: Publish.

    Step 3: Realize I forgot to spellcheck. Re-publish.

    Step 4: Read published post half a dozen times and update with corrections as necessary.

  5. @Steve –

    You know me well. And by now, you should know that I never use 5 words when I could use 43.

  6. 1) Start to write.
    2) Get interrupted.
    3) Resume writing.
    4) Repeat steps 1-3 any number of times over the span of 4 hours. There is a 50% chance you’ll forget what you were talking about during step 2.
    5) Re-read. Gag.
    6) Tweak.
    7) Get inerrupted.
    8) Forget what you were tweaking and change something else.
    9) Add a paragraphs.
    10) Remove 3 paragraphs.
    11) Publish anyway so that you did something today.
    12) Edit for spelling.
    13) Edit for a typo.
    14) Edit for tags.
    15) Edit to put it in the correct category.
    16) Edit for more tags.
    17) Edit for more typos.
    18) Say fuck it.

  7. 1) Start thinking up something while at work, write it down furiously during breaks

    2) Get home, type it out on computer

    3) Read it through and edit many, many times

    4) Hem and haw about actually posting it

    5) Finally hit the “Post” button

    6) Edit again to fix the (at least) 2 typos that I find despite all the editing I just did

    7) Post it again, then worry about who’s going to read it (I are shy blogger >.>)

Comments are closed.