Whenever I get comfortable with one model of the writing process, I run into a problem that a particular model cannot solve. If I were a scientist, that dilemma might lead to a new paradigm. Instead, I use my revising skills, sometimes forcing myself to come up with a new description for how writing works.
My first model was simple, something I learned from writing coach Donald Murray: pre-writing, writing, re-writing. Later on, Murray gave me: Idea, Collect, Focus, Order, Draft, Revise.
In my book “Writing Tools,” it grew into: Explore, Collect, Focus, Select, Order, Draft, Revise.
In my latest book, “Help! For Writers,” I came up with something quite different: Getting Started; Getting Your Act Together; Finding Focus; Looking for Language; Building a Draft; Assessing Your Progress; Making It Better.
This version has helped me identify the most common obstacles writers face, and the best strategies for overcoming them. During this week’s writing chat, I talked about these obstacles and strategies — and offered tips to help you better understand your own writing process. You can