Writing for me has been an outlet that has saved my life. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t write. My posts have been an open diary, as I had said before – and before I started posting, consistently more than I ever have; I have found a new form of peace that I never knew could exist within my life. Writing has saved me from my thoughts, stopped my thoughts from going into overdrive, and, in a way, saved me from myself.
From the beginning of my writing journey six years ago, my process has changed from how I started. When I first started, I would write endlessly, with no substance, structure, or plan – getting all my thoughts out without them making any sense. Hundreds of words going on and on nonstop, with no flow of state or any meaning.
I would then go on to write multiple drafts. I started a new one once my brain got clogged and I started experiencing writer’s block. When I first got writer’s block – I found it challenging to overcome; it was draining. It took a toll mentally, and I had to drag myself out physically.
Due to writer’s block, I would end up with about 5-9 unfinished drafts of my writing that I would write to post. So, imagine the number of drafts I have for chapters of my novel (it is frustrating the amount I have). Luckily – I found a way to overcome it; it was draining and took a toll mentally, and I had to drag myself out physically.
Due to writer’s block, I would end up with about 5-9 unfinished drafts of my writing that I would write to post. So, imagine the number of drafts I have for chapters of my novel (it is frustrating the amount I have). Luckily – I found a way that I could overcome it. I noticed that the more I wrote, whether longhand or via my laptop, the easier it was to put everything together and plan.
The new writing process I have been using has helped me plan and structure my writing more and keep my drafts to a minimum.
During the lockdown, I purchased mini notebooks from Amazon that I wanted to use for my novel. I ordered around 10 of them and had one in my room in the new year. In January, I decided to use it to help me write my blog posts, whether it’s my thoughts, reviews or writing about my travels – I must say that it has helped me thoroughly.
With every thought about a topic or a review, I would simply write into my notebook and structure how I want to start, to the middle and how I want to end it. I use bullet points to make everything clear, concise and to the point. That way, I can develop and build on each bullet point, adding to my initial writing. Bullet pointing has helped me dramatically – without it, I don’t think my writing would have improved, as it allowed me to flesh my words out correctly.
Writing in the notebook has been a game changer and has helped me exponentially – as I feel the need to get my thoughts down works better for me to quickly jot down into the notebook rather than trying to remember my thoughts of the entire day. I know some people are thinking, ‘Why not use the notes app on your phone’ – I have, but that did not work for me. I am a physical person; I like to feel the paper and pen touch as I lay out my thoughts on the page – you could call me old school, but there is nothing better than original, pen to paper.
I carry the notebook everywhere and always leave my house with it. Before I had the notebook, there were two things I wouldn’t leave my house without – my phone and my wallet – but now, my notebook is included.
Everyone has their process for how they work or tackle things. Some may do what I do and use a notebook to help; others may use their notes app on their phone – and some can even keep a mental note and remember to tackle it. We are all different in the ways we work and approach things, and what may work for some may not work for others.
I want to end this post by saying – don’t be afraid of trying something new in search of your process. Trying other processes won’t hinder you from your own; it will make your process special enough to define and call it yours.