The Art of Diligence in the Writing Process
It was always a dream of mine to write the great American novel. A dream in which I am not alone. Many of us want to captivate millions with a few dazzling words that move people.
One day I decided I would fulfill that dream. I figured that in a day or two I would be at the top of the writing world.
That is when I quickly discovered that writing is not a midnight miracle, but rather a long training for an Olympic event.
It is not by any sense of the word, quick or easy.
My first real long novel was The Pixie Tales – The Gift. It was the first in a series in which I decided to write. It was from this experience I learned that writing takes diligence.
In an Olympic event training, it takes years of experience to develop your skill. Years of practice to use the skill, and massive effort to complete the event. All that, just for a chance that you might be noticed.
Writing is very similar. My first novel taught me that if you do not prepare, work, rework, re-prepare, and apply hours and effort, you will not have a chance to perhaps be noticed. What you do will have to be intentional or reworked.
I soon learned that the writing process looks something like this:
- Pre-planning stage. Decide on a topic, idea, genre, or subject to write on.
- Outline the project. You must get some idea where your going and how to get there.
- Drafting stage. You just need to put words on a page. You need something with which to work.
- Rewriting stage. Writing is rewriting. What you write rarely comes out perfect the first time.
- Content Editing. You need to get the plots, subplots, character development, and general structure right.
- Grammar editing. If you don’t communicate effectively, no one will want to wade through it.
- Proof reading. It just doesn’t always come out right the first few times.
- Critiquing. You must critique your work and let others critique it. It makes it stronger.
- Rewriting. Writing is rewriting,
- Formatting. You need to format the written word, and general layout.
- Tweaking. You must fix the little things and do the important things like the cover layout.
- Publishing. A book needs to be published if it is going to be a real book.
- Marketing and advertising. You have a book, but does anyone know about it? Marketing is just as important as writing if you want your book to be read.
- Add-ons. If your book is part of a series, you need to write the rest of the books.
- More marketing and advertising.
This is not a midnight miracle. It takes diligence and work. I learned that a writer needs to be disciplined. I personally follow a simple plan.
- I set aside time to work in my writing.
- I create a plan for each project that sets aside time for each of the elements of the writing process.
- I work the plan one element at a time, in order so I do not get overwhelmed.
- I pick myself up and dust myself off every time I fall off the wagon. I start again where I left off.
Persistence and diligence win the game.
Why do it if it is difficult and hard? For each writer it is different, but for me it is because of the dream. I just can not walk away from my dream. I write because it helps me see the world and make sense of it. If I explore different sides of an issue in my writing, it clarifies it for me. If I explore values and opinions, character flaws and lofty ideals, it somehow makes them real and brings them home to me in my life. Writing gives understanding. It gives me the hope of seeing something clear enough that I might write those words on a page that matter. I might say something that is profound enough that someone will take notice. It is all about the dream.
My first novel taught me a lot about writing and the Olympic training process it takes to write. If you have a desire to write the next great American novel, or just put a few words of the page, remember that the intentional writing process takes a lot of work and a lot of diligence.
The Pixie Tales – The Gift autographed copy sold at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheeOldePeddler .