Some months ago, I shared with you my six step writing process. In that post, I explained that writing is not a single activity but a bouquet of activities. You can read that post here to get up to speed.
Truth is: writing consistently is hard. At times it can feel like a loathed chore and a daunting task.
Yes, people like me who churn out great posts every week also suffer from writer’s block amongst other itches. For instance I’d procrastinated writing this post for two days and felt like sleeping when I started writing it this morning.
The question is: how do we overcome these challenges?
In the words of Dr. Sues:
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
This is true for writing consistently. The simple answer is that to write consistently you need to write always.
Here’s what I mean by ‘write always’:
Most people only write when they feel like writing.
When they feel inspired.
When the muse visits.
This however is an error as this mood seldom comes.
Because, it’s possible that you feel creative only once a week. But you need to produce more than that to churn out great content consistently.
This is why you need a system.
For the past five years that I’ve been writing seriously one thing that has always kept me going are two pieces of advice from great writers:
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” — Stephen King
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London
Going after inspiration is building a structure, a system for writing. It is having a writing process.
While this system may vary, it is important because it helps you write consistently in a single voice.
This is why I advise every writer to have a writing process and share every writing process that I’ve tried or have heard great things about from other writers.
Depending on what you’re writing about — fiction, nonfiction, poetry, prose, essay etc, your approach may be slightly different but every piece of writing has four elements and that’s what I share with you in today’s posts.
Writers’ Mix Elements
The writers’ Mix is a writing process that involves four effective elements in a nice blend.
The elements are:
I’d tell you about each of them:
A great piece of writing has a topic. Most importantly it is about that one title. One story. Rambling around only pisses your audience off as it announces you as an amateur. This is why it is good to coin a title before you start writing. It helps keep you on track and avoid drifting away. A great title is simple, interesting and captivating. It should spike something in the mind of anyone who sees it.
It’s common knowledge that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. This underlines the importance of your opening. It should be a captivating lead paragraph. It could be a question, question or jaws dropping statement. It should pick up where your title left in spiking the imagination of your readers.
3. The Meat
This is where you defend your opening paragraph statements and answer questions you raised. It is the support framework for your piece. It should be made up of interesting supporting points. It is the body of your piece and thus fulfils the promise you made in the title. A great way of writing this is using bullet points.
This is your ending. Although it is synonymous with falling action. It shouldn’t be any duller than the other parts of the piece. I usually give it a special section called: ‘Ending Notes.’ Here you call your readers to action. You can spice it up with questions, anecdotes or quotes. Just keep it memorable. Finally drop your bottom line and you’re done.
As long as you have a great title, and have made the best first impression with your opening. The readers will follow you to the meat of the piece and even answer your call to action.
Sounds like a good plan right? Now go and do likewise.
Question: What’s your process for writing your pieces? Tell me by leaving a comment below.
Also published on Medium.