“Don’t assume there is any single path or playbook writers need to follow.” This advice comes from a recent posting on Writer’s Digest website.
I love writers and attending workshops and meetings where they gather. Being a social worker and a sociologist, I like to listen to their our patterns of talking about how we write. One of the first obvious things is that if you ask a writer what they are working on, they will tell you. Their rendition of what they are writing is usually not short and they don’t necessarily want to reciprocate by listening to what you are writing. Interesting.
The next favorite topic is their writing process. I love to listen to stories about these processes as they are usually reported as ‘the way’ to write followed by skeptical looks and messages if you or someone else has a different way of writing.
The truth is, all the various processes have worked for someone. They may work for you and they may not. Each one of us has to find through it and miss, our own writing style.
I have a suggestion on trying other’s writing processes. Consider your own personality. Are you very disciplined, organized, and buttoned up. Or, are you a fly-by-the seat, wait for the muse, and laid back kind of writer. Which ever one you are, listen closely to those whose style fits the opposite of your personality.
If you are the buttoned up type, try free-style writing that has no outline, prompts, purpose or organization.
If you are the fly-by-the seat writer, adopt a strict and disciplined writing style.
I think the results will be interesting to you.
Where did I get this idea? I was a martial art instructor for years. Whenever I was asked which martial arts style someone should take, I followed the advice of my Korean instructor, Dr. Dae Shik Kim: “Choose a style that’s the opposite of your personality.”