Writers are always searching for the perfect writing process. Some authors tell you follow one method or another; others swear there’s no need to follow any process at all. If you start researching all the various writing methods and programs out there, you quickly end up with a spinning head from all the contradictory advice.
So what’s a writer to do?
Before I give you the answer, let me explain how I came by it. Years ago, I ended up with several major medical misdiagnoses and an enormous case of chronic stress. To fix my health issues, I giddily pursued this and that self-help guru, each of whom unerringly promoted the one “right” way to get healthy, get fit, beat stress–you name it. Through this long and sometimes frustrating trial-and-error, I found that what worked miracles for one person did absolutely nothing for me. That’s when I got smart and custom-tailored a health and stress management system for myself — because who knows me better than I do? Then, I took my knowledge and wrote an Amazon #1 bestselling book: One Size Does NOT Fit All: Stress Management–a book whose overreaching mantra is: What works for one does not work for everyone.
Everything. There are myriad “right” ways to write, but not all of them will fit your lifestyle, personality, and writing needs. If you’re looking for that perfect process, be aware that it’s easy to go spinning down the rabbit hole pursuing this author’s “system” or that one’s “method” only to find out that you’ve wasted time and money on a scheme that won’t work for you because it’s not in alignment with your style.
Does that mean you shouldn’t give credence to the writing process suggestions out there? Absolutely not! There are a lot of fantastic tips and tricks authors use to raise their word counts, polish their words till they gleam like gems, and fire up their idea generators. What you need to concentrate on when sifting through these suggestions is determining which of them will be easy and natural for you to implement. Because if there is one thing I know for sure, it’s:
What you don’t use can’t help you.
You must actually use a method for it to work. And you won’t use it if it doesn’t come naturally to you. For example, if Author X tells you to use the Pomodoro method to up your word count, but you aren’t someone who likes to keep track of your time constantly, then this will not work for you. Instead, you could use daily word count goals to motivate yourself. If you’re exceptionally hard to motivate, you might want to consider a small reward for yourself after every day or week that you reach your word count goals.
Here’s another example: Some writers claim that their writing process hinges on writing only in the morning. They back this up with evidential studies that prove people are at their most creative at this time of day. Yet many of the writers I know are night owls who do their best work in the dark of the moon. If you’re one of them, getting up at the crack of dawn to write is not going to be conducive to getting your creative juices flowing — instead, you may find yourself unmotivated and tired and end up feeling overwhelmed. At that point, you’ll stop using the method and, ipso facto, it doesn’t work.
So go ahead and explore all the glorious iterations of creativity, motivation, and productivity for writers out there. Gather all the free information you can. Then weave together the bits that resonate with you, your personality, and your lifestyle to create a kick-ass writing process that is tailor-made for you. After all, no matter how well-intentioned the advice, no one knows you like you do!
See you on the next page!