Let Your Thoughts Lead Your Writing

by Ernie on September 17, 2012

Random paths of writing

One of the best ways I create lots and lots of content for my books, my blog, or my other businesses is that I let my mind lead my writing.

That can sometimes be contradictory to staying focused on what you are doing but hear me out.

Take my second novel, for instance.  Once the outline was done and I started writing the rough draft, it was sometimes hard to figure out what to write next.  After all, most of the story is coming completely from my imagination.

There are many times when I will get stuck when writing fiction and that is totally normal.  I don’t like the term “writer’s block” but that is what it is.

Anyway, one of the things that really helps me out is to take a look at the rest of the book via the outline.  What that does is lets me see all the stuff that I need to create before the story will be finished.

How is that helpful?

See the big picture

It gives me a broad overview of the story.  When I see this overall picture of where the story starts, goes, and ends I am able to figure out different parts of it at my leisure.

One day I was working on a chapter late in my book but I just couldn’t figure out what to write.  I knew that I needed to get in my thousand words for that day but was struggling to get through a few hundred for that particular chapter.

Instead of sitting there trying to think of what should happen next or how it should happen, I skipped ahead by several chapters and wrote something else which was much clearer in my mind.

I’ve done that several times in each book that I’ve written.

Think about it.  Movies are typically not shot in chronological order.  They have the entire working plan in place and put it all together in the end.

Writing a book, screenplay, or simply articles or a blog can be done much the same way.  Don’t be stubborn and think that you have to do a certain thing today because that’s the order it needs to happen.

Obviously, the only exception to writing a book this way comes when you are down to your last chapter and you have nothing else to do.

Do I need writing for my project?

Maybe your project may not seem like it needs a lot of writing on the surface.  But there are lots of reasons to sit down and do a little bit of writing for it.

One, it gives you a great sense of where you are and where you need to be.

Two, if you get some good content created about your project, you have given yourself a leg up in the promotional game.  Content marketing can be a huge driver of new fans and customers.  If you neglect what writing can do for your project, you are leaving out an avenue that can save you a lot of time and reach far more people than you probably realize.

One easy step is to sit down and just write a quick summary of what your project is and why you are doing it.  If you want some ideas of how this should look, check out some different website “about” pages.  Those give a pretty simple picture of how to sum up what you are working on.

Is this technique right for you?

There are some cons to working with this method that you should consider.  They are not something you can’t overcome but you need to be aware of them just the same.

One of them would be that if you let your mind wander too much you may never get the project done.  Remember that as long as you are working within the context of your project, it is okay to let the mind lead.  But when it starts taking you off track to different time sucking things then you need to grab it and get it back to where it needs to be.

Another downside is to the method is that it can sometimes promote procrastination in a person or with a project.  It is very easy to say that as long as you’re working on something then that is a positive.  A quick way to make sure what you are doing is productive for the project is to ask yourself a few questions.  Does this need to be done?  Is it vital for the project?  Is it moving the project forward?

If the answer is yes then keep working.

Give this technique a try and let me know what you think.  I’ve taken creative writing courses and composition courses before and have never been told about anything like this so I’m anxious to hear your comments.

Thanks for reading!

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