After interviewing several authors and writing two books; there seems to be two general yet distinct writing styles. Both styles work. The key is to choose the one that fits you naturally and get writing now.
The Idea Capturer or Perculator Style
If you are this type of writer you have hundreds of “good” ideas about stories, articles, books, characters and plots. You are creative and overflow with ideas. That is your strength. The obstacle for you is getting organized and actually writing. So, here’s a brief process for you.
- Carry a small hand sized notebook with you at all times.
- When you think of a theme, idea or concept write it down in the notebook.
- Give yourself a month to jot down all the ideas you have. Limit this process to one month only.
- After collecting your ideas for a month, set aside about 1-2 hours of uninterrupted time. You’ll need a poster board & markers.
- Now, you’re going to take your notebook and on your poster board begin to write & draw the themes you have come up with. You’ll see connections in your work that you couldn’t see in your notebook. Use different colors for each theme.
- You will probably have 2-5 ideas on your poster board for books or articles. Take a break, you’ve done great!
- If you are going to write articles, then you’ll need to set aside a simple 1-2 hours to write. If it’s a book, then look at the process outlined below.
- Now, set aside the time to write & edit your article. Limit your time to no more than 2 hours, period. If you’re this style of writer, you can re-write yourself to death and never publish.
- Now, submit your article. Don’t let it just sit there! Give it wings.
- Once you’ve written the articles that interest you from this process. Repeat the process and you’ll have written and published several articles in a year!
The Structured, Time Efficient Writer
If you don’t like to waste time, are goal driven and disciplined you are the in this category. You already have your key ideas in place. If you are the Idea Capturer and want to write a book, this tool will help you structure your writing time. You are not going to take years to write your book or months to write an article. You are determined to complete the process and get published. Here’s a format for you to do your best work.
- Organize a rigorous, specific writing schedule. If you want to complete your book in one to three months, then a minimum of four hours of writing a day is in order. You can schedule one day off. Chart this out and place it in your planner. Even if you work fulltime, this is doable. Get up two hours earlier and write, then schedule two hours in the evening to write.
- Take your topic, article or book idea. Then play with it to make a juicy title for your book. Review the best selling titles on Amazon and NY Times. See what sells. Make your title sexy and enticing.
- List the chapter headings. These can be tweaked and changed. You want to know what you’re working toward. As you write, things will flow and new additional ideas come in.
- Make a temporary mock up of your book cover or picture for your article. You can do this by computer or collage. Do make this tangible & touchable. Place it next to the area you write. You can also write a few fantasy great revues of your book or article and place that on the back “cover”.
- Now, your job is to write four hours daily and put all that great content in your chapters. You can skip around, because you have your general layout.
- Once you’ve completed your book, place it aside for one week.
- Go back and re-read and edit with a critical yet compassionate eye.
- Print your article or manuscript and give copies to supportive, intelligent friends who will give you honest feedback. Let them know they can edit in any way, but you want affirming encouraging feedback as well. Don’t give your precious creation to anyone who is generally negative.
- Now you have at least 3 suggestions of editing. Go back and use the ideas you believe are helpful to the quality of your article or book.
- Copyright your book or article.
- Joyfully submit it to publishers large and small. If you don’t have a publisher within a month or two, consider point of sell publishing or submission to websites.
Whether you are the idea capturer or the time efficient writer, it’s essential to get writing. Each of these styles has advantages and disadvantages, yet both produce exceptional work. It’s essential that you get started and get your talents and gifts out there in the world. Encouragement and a plan are an important part of that process.