10 Writing Steps for the “Non-Writer”
Have you ever attempted to release words you see so clearly in your head, but can’t seem to explain out loud? It could be a speech, a story, a play, a simple conversation. It could be anything that should be or might make communicating and transferring what’s inside your mind to outside (for whoever should be lucky enough for you to share that part of you with), sound better on paper. You’ve tried to write it down, act it out, draw a picture, or whatever other means you could think up to express your vision, but still have yet to get it just right. I’m here to help you get that creative out through the written word with these 10 easy steps.
Just Write It Down
It doesn’t have to be pretty or make any sense whatsoever, just get it out on paper. The rest will come later. Whatever form is easiest for you will work just fine (i.e. short story, notes, random sentences, a poem). Just whatever method you choose, get it all out.
Create Some Order
So you’ve spilled your guts out letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence, and so forth, onto that paper that even scares you to look at right now. Great! Now let’s get those thoughts and ideas looking a little less scary and a bit more approachable. Depending on what it is that you’re writing, it’s time to make order of the madness. If it’s a speech or story, maybe it would suit you better to organize the page full of scrambled thoughts chronologically, in the order of events or a build up to a result (or end). It might be easier for you to group thoughts that are similar or the same, or simply just closely relate to one another. Once you’ve sorted out all your initial thoughts and ideas, move on to the next step.
Don’t Be Afraid To Let Go
A lot of times, and I do mean A LOT of times, we tend to think up stuff that we probably should keep to ourselves. Sometimes I think a lot of the same things, or unnecessary things that have nothing to do with anything that I’m thinking about at that moment. Peanut Butter…See what I mean…I couldn’t help myself there friends. Anyway, back to letting go. In your new and improved somewhat organized list, there will be tons of ideas and thoughts that you can’t do much with, or more likely than not, a lot that are pretty much exactly the same. Got to love that human mind of ours. If your rearranged list doesn’t have things that you can cross out and trash and let go into the wind, then you didn’t do step 1 right. Sorry, it’s just the truth. If that’s you, go back and do it again. No judgement zone here (besides who would know). You may have even been a go getter and left all that unwanted randomness out while you were doing step 2. If that’s the case, why are you even reading this step? Go on to the next one already. If you’ve been following these steps exactly, thank you. It’s now time for you to get rid of all of those similar thoughts and ideas, or anything that won’t do a thing for your finished piece. I know how attached one can get to even the most silliest thought from personal experience (trust me, it happens to me all the time), but it will save you a lot of time and energy later on if you only take a leap and let it go. Be sure to not look back.
Go Take A Break
Congratulations! You’ve made it this far. Now it’s time to go relax. Take a break. Sit back and enjoy the world around you. You deserve it. Go spend time with family or friends, or even those lovely animals that have crept into your heart one way or the other. It will be hard to walk away from all the time and effort you’ve just put into starting your piece, but you can do it. Be sure to not think about it at all as soon as you walk away. Our minds can become overloaded quickly. It’s best to let them cool off every once and awhile, so that we are able to take a fresh look at something old to see it in a whole new light. It’s like smelling a lot of different scents one after the other. After a while they all start to smell the same, unless you have some coffee beans with you and smell them in between each fragrance (it really works – clears the good ole olfactory (sense of smell) gland). So walk away. Who knows what you’ll come up with when you go back to your written work?
I hope you had some fun enjoying yourself and not thinking about your writing whatsoever. Okay, Okay, maybe just a little is fine. If you truly care about it, how can you not? So now it’s time to take your ordered list and write in order of how you want your written piece to flow (this should be the order that your new list is in already). Fill in missing pieces with new thoughts and ideas. Connect the gaps and create a “finished” piece.
Give It Away
You didn’t think you were done, did you? I know it probably feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of you, but if you want your written piece to be just right, there’s only a little bit more to do. If you are completely satisfied with what you have, you are AMAZING, just stop at step 5. For all of us that strive to a perfection that we’ll never meet (as the only One truly perfect is watching from above), find someone you trust that will be brutally honest with you, but only out of love and care, and give them the piece you are working on. Tell them to make sure they give you their wholehearted opinion. Ask them what they liked about it, what can be improved, and what didn’t they like about it. Be sure to thank them for their help once they’re done.
You’ve made it this far. Only a little more to do. Yay! Once you received your written work back and reviewed it, edit it to their suggestions. Now, in doing so, make sure you don’t lose what you want out of the piece. In other words, don’t edit so much that it becomes a completely new piece, far from those ideas you let out in step 1. You did, however, choose the person you chose for a reason, so trust them. After all you can only see your own work in the way you’ve envisioned it, not in the minds of others.
Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite
Yes, I said to rewrite it. You don’t have to go through all the steps again. Rewrite it and compare your new piece to what you have. It may surprise you to find things you really wanted to say but forgot all about, or even new twists and turns or points of interest that you never thought would fit, but now, for some odd reason, they actually do. If your written work is something longer, maybe try rewriting just the beginning or just the end, or both. No need to write a second book. How else would us who enjoy reading have anything to read if the authors just kept rewriting the same piece?
Take Another Break
You definitely deserve this one! It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to have that mind cleared again.
Reread and Share
Okay, last step. Whew! Reread your final, edited piece (add in changes, if you found any worthy during the rewrite). By this point, you should be completely satisfied with what you have. You might find a spelling mistake here or there. No worries, fix it up quick and keep moving on. After rereading your wonderfully created written work of art, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it! Share it with whoever and as many people as you want. You can now call yourself a writer! At least for your newly and truly finished piece that is. CONGRATS!