What might be the best strategy for writing? Following the same pattern every single day, or having a less organized approach that varies a lot in its implementation?
Since the early beginning of my book-/ story writing attempts, I always tried to look at the whole project in a more organized, sometimes even technical way. I thought that I could divide the project into smaller pieces, breaking the effort down into doable tasks I can easily finish at one point during the process.
I would think about the introduction for a couple of days and write it in a way, that matches my demands. Sure, if the thing doesn’t feel right, I would have improved upon it once or twice later on, but I wouldn’t have moved on until it was exactly the way I wanted it to be.
One step after the other!
This is what an engineers brain wants. Structure, order, a schedule, a quality check somewhere down the road. But was it really successful? Was it the way exceptionally good things came out of the equation? I am not so sure about it to be honest.
The thing is, that everything seems to be connected. Each and every single word you may say might change the meaning of this particular sentence, paragraph or sometimes even the complete chapter. Therefore, you shouldn’t have this step by step approach going on in your project. Sure, you can start with the introduction at one point, but who says that you can’t go back to it later on and change it again and again and again.
While I write my current book, I realized one thing more than any other. I write something down and make it perfect, but after revisiting it 3 month later, well, it doesn’t seem to be that perfect after all. In fact, I change so much. Sure, sometimes only small details like a word here, or a different sentence structure over there. But from time to time I even delete sentences and paragraphs, sometimes even complete chapters.
The message of todays post?
Write down your thoughts, write down the things you want to talk about, but do not be afraid about jumping from one chapter to the other. You can go back and forth, no, you should jump back and forth, adapting the different topics to each other and make the complete book look like a unit that is intended to match to each other like a big puzzle that lays in front of you.
In the end, your book needs to be consistent. From the start to the finish, but the best way how to get there? Well, I would currently say that you need to be inconsistent in your approach. You should go alternative routes, try new things, make it a little bit more exciting. Why don’t you listen to music while writing and on the other day work in silent? Why don’t you write on your bed in the morning, in the sunlight outside on an sunny afternoon, or standing up at a desk late at night? Why don’t you have a longer break and think about the chapters from a different point of view? Why don’t you write for 10 hours straight and on the next day stop after 30 minutes? For me personally, a routine is the thing that kills of the creativity here. Sure, if I just want to write a blog post like I do right now, this is easily done in two hours straight. But with a project like a book, well, this is just something else.
A routine is the thing that kills the creativity.
As mentioned here on my blog multiple of times already, a routine is always useful and in fact something you should consider, at least if you experience a lack of motivation from time to time. But please be aware about the fact, that writing a book is more than just the process of typing with your hands on buttons on your keyboard. Writing is a form of art. Something that will, in the end, mean more than the simple sum of its words. Therefore, do not be afraid about being inconsistent. A book doesn’t write itself in a couple of days, I mean, sure, you can do that. But in the end, it will not be the best book you have ever written! It will just be another book out there on the market that may be good, but not as good as it might have been otherwise.
Do not be afraid about making mistakes. Writing something and deleting it all together afterwards? Sure, it hurts, but actually, it’s not a big deal! You can hardly write perfectly all the time. But this is no problem after all. In fact, it may motivate you to write even more clearly next time.
There is no universal method of how to write a book. People are different, minds are different. You are unique just in the way you are. Therefore, you do not need to adapt your style of writing to other people! You simply need to find your own style, your own rhythm. If you have an engineers mind like I have, sure, I know how hard it must sound to have an inconsistent approach. But in the end, I guess this will help you to make things even better.
Why don’t you share with me your ideas and thoughts about this topic? Have you experienced the same? Or do you think that the complete opposite is in fact the way to go?
Good luck with your writing projects!
See you next time!