My Writing Process

One of my goals for 2014 was to write one blog post per week. Here is my current process.

When a topic I wish to write about first appears in my head, I immediately write down a potential title and a brief paragraph. Just enough to capture the essence of the thought. I may write it in a notebook, online notetaking app, or as a new draft on my blog. The medium doesn't matter, the immediacy does. If I don't write the thought down immediately, I'll lose it.

Whether or not ever write the full post is a different matter. I often let the content sit in my mind for a while. A good indication that I have something worthwhile to say is if I'm still interested in writing the post a week later. Most of my posts never get published, and that's fine.

My next step is to brain dump everything that I want to say into the post. Rough and crude, get it out.

Then refine. The Mark Twain quote, "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” applies perfectly here. I strive to be concise, clear and refine my point to its essence.

It is easier to get it all out and then trim back than to trim while writing.

Once I've refined the post to my publishing standards, I find it valuable to sit on it for another day. Come back fresh one last time. I read it aloud. I rework a few sentences again.

If I work with a post too long in one sitting, the words get cached in my mind, and I cannot recognize unclear or wordy sentences. Clearing the cache by delaying that extra day is worth the trouble.

If possible, I have someone else read it for clarity too.

This workflow is slow - it requires some patience. But this process yields the best results for me, at least for now.