If you get an editor who edits your personality away, you will not be happy. You evaluate you, and we will walk you through that process on how to measure the impact of your work and if it is communicating its purpose fluidly.
Some basic steps to follow before you start writing include:
1. Have a vision for your writing.
This is perhaps one of the most difficult parts of writing, you have no road map. You can drift very easily off topic, go off on rants, address things in too much detail, and leave out topics all together. You will not know you are doing this if you have no clear vision statement for your writing. For example, my vision in writing this post is to help facilitate the writing process for people.
2. Pool some resources.
With a vision statement, you have a spirit to guide you now on your journey through writing. Do not go through the journey unarmed or unprepared. Look back at your vision and think of things, resources, people, songs, movies, or places that relate to that vision. If your vision is “to capture the true essence of a beach vacation” what things can you surround yourself with to place yourself in that mindset? As I write this, I have one of my favorite books next to me, I have a few of my teacher instructional books, and I have “Piano Man” playing in the background as I sit under my favorite tree. These all relate to my vision in my own quirky way. Get into the mood of writing.
3. Just start writing.
Some people will gasp and say, “But what about the objectives?!” Unless you are writing for a specific business project where there are already objectives for the business and in turn, for your particular piece of writing, do not encase yourself with a bunch of bullet points. Some people like to brainstorm, take notes, or even sketch. I like to garden or jog before I get to writing–again quirky but that’s what I do to unify my thoughts.
Do not make bullet points and leave your creative writing to simply meet those bullet points. Your writing will be mechanical, it will lack any creativity and depth, and it will certainly lack emotion. Write, and where you feel an idea is weak, mark your reaction to it with a comment or a sticky note. Revisit it, but keep it. Do not chuck it! All ideas are valuable. We just don’t recognize value until the need arises. As you write, revisit your vision statement to inspire you.
It is ok to step away. People take years to bring their work to an editor. One of my clients took about twenty years before she brought her book to me. As an editor, I understand that your work is just like a child to you. I will treat it as mine.
These three fluid steps can help you start to write. Once you are in writing mode, keep the following in mind:
Keep writing! Do not abandon the idea, rather treated as an organic concept that matures as you mature. When you feel fatigued or uninspired, do not force yourself to write. Step away, live life, and come back when you are enthusiastic. There will always be some doubt in the writer’s mind. This is natural. But stopping for good and completely doubting the work is when you need to call in an editor to give you that boost. Instead of stopping, take breaks.
When the doubt is too overbearing and writer’s block has become cemented, reach out. Have several people read your work and upon completion ask them what they think the vision of your work is so far. If they answer similarly to your vision statement, you are on the right track.
But if you have several readers who feel flustered or come up with different visions, then revisit your writing and assess which segments have less to do with your vision and relate your content back to it. If you are truly stuck, reaching out to your editor to evaluate and read your progress can help set you back on track.
Remember: An editor is not just someone who places commas–but they can analyze your work and assess the extent of control you have over your work and your vision.
The most important aspect to writing is the author’s sense of control over the subject matter. Having a vision and placing yourself in the mood of that vision will help you control your writing before going off on tangents. The minute things become vague, is the minute the audience begins to stipulate. And suddenly, it becomes about what they think your writing is about. Mystery and symbolism is great–but having a reader not really know the point is disastrous for writing.
In fact this single attribute is always what makes the difference for successful research papers, grant applications, books, and websites. People need to know where they are headed as they read. The last thing a reader wants is to finish reading and find themselves completely lost.
Feel free to contact us, wherever along the creative process, and we will get you moving again.