Happy March, friends! Last month we had a blast talking fantasy, but today I want to focus on the writing process again. Particularly, I’d like to discuss the advice that floats around out there in the interwebs and how we develop our writing methods.
You see, the writing process is incredibly personalized… what works for one doesn’t work for all. As writers, we learn over time how to recognize what works best for us and organize our time and abilities to make the most progress.
But despite this truth, I still see countless articles, blog posts, and bits of advice telling writers how they should approach their writing. How they have to set aside a certain time EVERY DAY, how they must write every day, how they should do this, or do that, and if they don’t, they’re not really a writer.
But all that is malarky. One writer’s method may work for them, but it may not work for anyone else. As writers, we need to be wise with what we read and consume and understand this. Other writers may give advice or sure-fire methods to getting that book done, but in reality, they can only share things from their own experience.
When we start writing, it is good to take in as many methods as possible, to try out approaches we might not have tried or considered before. But as we write and practice, we will learn what works (and doesn’t work) for us. And eventually we will have our ideal writing method. We will keep the things that work and discard the rest. And maybe sometimes we will revisit methods when we find we need to refine our methods yet again.
Even after years, the method you develop may not be a concrete method. Your writing process will likely continue to develop and change as you continue to write. Personally, I have tried many methods, and while I found some things that worked and I thought they would be solid forever, I ended up ditching them because they no longer served me.
And that’s okay.
The truth is you will constantly be adapting and altering your method, even minutely, based on your circumstances and current projects. You will eventually find what works for you (or for that project) and stick to that. But then it may change again.
Don’t be afraid of changing, and don’t be afraid to defy the next hot bit of advice to come out of the internet. And also don’t be afraid to try new methods. You may find one that suits you even better than what you thought was your ideal process!
The bottom line is this: do what is best for you, no matter what anyone else says, do what helps you write and focus the most. Do this, and the story will happen in ways you never imagined possible.
What methods are you currently using? What bits of advice have you seen… and hated? Tell me below!