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Writing a book is a process

If only you could find it!

The steps and methods you use to write are your writing process. A writing process involves more than understanding the four steps of writing: prewriting, drafting, revising, and finally editing.

Finding the writing methods that work for you takes time. It requires trying different things, discarding what doesn't work and keeping what does.

But where do you start? If you have no set schedule and only a vague notion of how to organize your brilliant ideas, the road to discovering your unique writing process could end in frustration.

Maybe it already has.

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A good place to start is with these four habits

Schedule an appointment to write

It sounds crazy, but too many writers look at their writing as a hobby. If you're serious about writing this book, make an appointment with your computer to do some work.

Pay attention to how much and how long you write

Many people believe they can't get anything written unless they have at least an hour to write. That's untrue. Plenty of published authors write in fifteen-minute blocks. To solidify your process, it's best to track how many words you write in each session.

Decide on a method to try for a week

What do I mean by a method? Some writers walk and use a recorder to capture their words. Others need to do something creative like sing or play an instrument before they're ready to write. What gets you in the writing frame of mind? Not sure? Borrow ideas from others and try one out for a week (or less if it's obvious it isn't stirring your creative juices).

Review your progress honestly

If you write 1,000 words per week, it will take 80 weeks to write the first draft of a novel. Don't give yourself unrealistic deadlines. If you've set a deadline but after two weeks of writing, it's clear you won't meet it, make a more realistic one. Creating unreachable goals will only discourage you from showing up to write.

But those steps only get you through the drafting phase

Once you've finished your first draft, it's on to the next step in the writing process: revision. As the word says, this is when you will "vision again" the story you aim to tell.

Once you've revised your story, making sure it has no plot holes and portrays your hero's journey accurately, it's time for the final step in the writing process: editing. Now is your chance to polish the prose, make sure you've chosen the right word, and tweak until every sentence sings.

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Checklists: the process-challenged writer's BFF

Guaranteed to get you writing

What you'll get:

  • Writing process checklist
  • Publishable manuscript checklist
  • Show don't tell cheat sheet

Exclusive bonus for subscribers
A discount code for coaching, critique or editing from Sharon Hughson Author Services is included on the last page of the booklet.

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