Crafting a reliable writing process that works for you — for the way you think, your strengths and the areas you struggle with — is the key to writing quickly and easily in any circumstances. My writing process has carried me through writing while sick, while stressed by life events, and (a few times) after realising I don’t want to work for a client any longer and am desperate to get this last piece over and done with.
But now and then, my usual writing process fails me. Maybe it’s a particularly tricky piece to write. Maybe it’s a new kind of writing I’ve never tried before. Maybe my brain is just in a weird place today.
Open your toolbox
That’s when I reach into my toolbox for one of the other techniques I know. Finding that I’m repeatedly writing half-sentences and then erasing them? Or that I can’t summarise everything I know about a topic into a couple of lines? Or maybe I have a dozen different points I could make, but I’m not sure which five or six I should focus on? It’s time to ditch the laptop and get out pen and paper.
Being forced to write out the words by hand trips a different set of pathways in my brain. It also forces me to make decisions before I write anything, because writing by hand is tedious and mcuh slower than typing, so I don’t want to have write down more than I really need to.
And while it may seem slower in the moment, it’s a great deal faster than not making any progress at all.
So yes, it’s worth spending some time working out the ideal, failsafe writing process for you. But you should make sure you know how to use a few other techniques for the rare occasions when your normal process does fail.
Add to your toolbox
If you want to read about more examples of using different approaches to solve the same writing challenge, click on the banner below to download my 5 strategies for tackling writer’s block and getting your words out when you’re stuck.