Every author has a different way of getting to the finish line, but is there a best way? Expert Anne Janzer, who wrote a book called The Writer's Process, says the path to publication includes researching, thinking deeply, outlining/structuring, drafting, revising, and editing. I asked her for her top three process-related tips for aspiring authors, and here's what she came back with:
1. Divide and conquer
Some phases of the process require focused attention, while others call on the associative, subconscious parts of your mind. Understand what you need and when you need it. You might love drafting while sitting in a coffee shop but need total isolation for revision. Knowing the phases of the process, you can match the work to your mood and environment.
2. Schedule breaks to incubate the work
Focused attention can block creative inspiration. Add activities that do not require focus to your writing day. Many writers go outdoors, play piano, or do something physical as part of their schedules. This gives other parts of the brain a chance to contribute. You may be more productive when you next sit down to write.
3. Trust the process
Process is invaluable when you're working on a book. During the long haul, you may doubt your ability to finish the project. But you only need to summon the courage to take the next step in the process. The path forward is clear, and you can keep going.
As for my own advice to aspiring authors, I love the way Anne states it on page 19 of her book: "If you are all inspiration and creativity with no discipline and focus, then your wonderful ideas never make their way from the brain to the world." In other words, just sit down and write. That's really all it comes down to.
Many thanks to Anne for her insight! You can find more tips from her at annejanzer.com.
Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services to aspiring and published authors. Have questions? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2017 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.