The process of creative work like writing can be challenging sometimes, experience has proven this to me, for some people they can get discouraged and give up on chasing their dreams as a writer.
But having a guideline always make things easier, this is why before a house is built there’s always a plan, also in constructing and building of mechanical objects like phone, computer, etc. there’s always a blueprint.
Plan or blueprint makes the building process easier for the engineers, having a guideline for writing also makes the writing process much easier
I have just finished writing and rewriting my first book, which I’m not yet ready to put out 😊 actually, it’s a book about writing. It was a great experience for me, not only that it validated my claim of being a writer, but it has also helped me build confidence in my ability to write.
Going through the process and completing the final draft of a book has helped me to shape my writing skills in many ways. One of those ways is that it has helped me understand the usefulness of having a guideline for writing.
Before now, whenever I have an idea of what to write, what I do is dive into a blank page and start writing, sometimes the whole piece is written first before the title is decided.
There’s nothing wrong with this process, I do produce the words when I follow this process, but the challenge is that sometimes I get lost or confused in the middle of my writings because of lack of direction or how to structure the.
But when I started using a defined process when writing, it has become much easier for me, I’m becoming better and more productive.
In this post, I want to share with you six steps I now use, which you can also use to convert your ideas into written and readable content, this process can help you on your journey to becoming the best writer you can become.
My 6 steps process to turning ideas into written words
Step 1: Decide on a topic or title
Whenever I want to write about anything, the first thing I do is think of what the title of my writings will be. This helps in making my writing easier, first, it gives me a perspective of what the writing will look like, this also shapes other steps in my writing process.
For example, like in this post, I had an idea of how anyone can convert an idea into a post or written content, steps processes came to my mind, so I decided on the ” Six Steps Process I Used To Converting Ideas Into written content ” as the title. With the title, I was able to narrow my thoughts to the number of steps that I go through when writing.
There are lots of topics, and different style of writing, but this first step can be applied in any possible case.
Deciding on the topic you want to write will narrow your mind to thinking more about the topic, it will also help you find the right words and ways to structure your writing in a way your ideas will be clearly communicated.
Step 2: Researching for more knowledge, ideas or facts about your topic.
Next on the steps is to know about your topic.
One of the things that makes writing more easier is if the writer have enough knowledge or skills about his or her topic or subject, this is one of the reasons why writers are known to be readers, if you are informed about your topic, the words will flow like a river.
Researching to know more about your topic could mean seeking from an outside source for more information about the topic you want to write about, It could be reading a book, searching on the internet, watching videos or any ways that work best for you.
Sometimes, your research and findings can be internal, sometimes in your research and findings process, you won’t have to get your facts and information externally, because the facts and information you need may be within you. Sometimes your research and findings will consist of you settling down and thinking deeply about your topic or title.
You might be the type of writer that approaches his or her writing from a personal perspective like writing from imagination, knowledge or personal experience.
In this post, for instance, I didn’t have to do any external research, all I had to do was to think from my previous knowledge and my experience in the act of writing, with that I was able to produce the words that made up this post.
But the overview idea of research is to be more informed about your topic.
What I do mostly when I’m writing about a topic that I don’t have an in-depth knowledge or experience about, I read one or two blog posts about the topic or watch one or two videos, by doing this, not only will I have more knowledge to share with my readers, I also gain more knowledge in the process of writing the post.
Step 3: Outline
An outline is all about structuring my writing, with outline, I create a template for the written content.
I believe this doesn’t have to follow any specific process or format, It should be personal. But what you have gotten from your research and findings may have a significant part to play in your outline.
Outlining your writings helps you know how to begin and finish and what should be in between.
The type of writer you are and what you write about will greatly determine how you outline your writing. For me, I like writing with Headings and subheadings, or bulletin, or numbers, or steps, like in the case of this post. I like listing my points and having my overall idea broken down, it helps me in organizing my writings.
However, it might be different for you, some people like to separate their points with paragraphs, whichever works for you is okay. But just have in mind that outlining here is to help you know how to begin, what should come in between and how to end.
Meanwhile, your outline structure doesn’t have to physically appear in your writings.
Step 4: Write the first draft
Next step in the process is to write the first draft. For me, it’s all about following my outline and using the knowledge and ideas I have gotten from research to craft the first copy.
One writer refers to the first draft of every writing ‘the shitty draft,’ shitty in the context mean it can be as bad as it can be.
One of the challenges most people have with writing is that they spend a lot of time trying to make their first draft perfect, your first draft can be messy, you don’t have to worry about things like spelling, grammar, structure and punctuation, etc; that is, “Grammatical accuracy and all that”. Focus on producing the words, put down whatever ideas you have in your head about your topic in the blank page.
Step 5: Revising and Rewriting
This is when you can shape your writings to what you wish for it to be. This is where you examine if your writing is in line with your voice, style or your choice of tone in that particular piece of writing.
Here, you can revise and rewrite a section, a paragraph or even the whole piece. You can review your choice of words or phrases, arrange and rearrange your writings, but this time you are aiming at what you wish the whole writing to read like.
The thing is writing skills get better as you writes more often. As you advance in your writing journey, you may find yourself skipping the process of revising and editing, you may not have to go through this process, you may start to get your desired content in the first draft and then go down to the last step of the process, editing.
These days I hardly revise and rewrite my writings, like this post, it’s one of those posts I do write sometimes that the words kind of flow naturally.
Step 6: Editing
This is the final step in this process. It’s the last step before putting your writing out there.
This is where you have to pay attention to details, it’s where you carefully scrutinize the whole piece to correct any errors you can find.
This is where you ‘try’ to find and correct the wrong spellings, grammar, structures, punctuation and all that. I use ‘try’ because I know I suck in this aspect, as you might have already observed in this writing, i mean you might have observed some errors.
I’m one of those people out there in the world that struggled with deal with words, (dyslexic) but regardless of this challenge I’m still a writer, all thanks to digital keyboards and text editors for spell checks and suggestions, so I’m not a preacher of perfection when it comes to spelling, structure and grammar.
But regardless of this I still take editing serious, editing for me is all about simplifying my grammar, I try to use the simplest form of words I can think of, then on structure and punctuation, I try to use the basic knowledge I have them to arrange my writings.
The thing is I don’t ignore the editing process, even though I might still have a friend (the last eye look) at my writings before publishing.
I also use tools like Google Doc and Grammarly to edite. There are a lot of tools out there which can help a writer to thoroughly and personally scrutinize his/her writing before having another eye on it.
This last process should be to make your writings readable to be able to communicate your ideas, not really to make it perfect.
This process works for me, I’m sure it will work for you regardless of your style or kind of writings. The magic is not in the steps, the magic is in the actions you will be performing during each of the steps.
The steps don’t make the writing process long, i believe it makes it easier and faster. You can take 5 minutes to think about your topic, 15minute to read one or two blog post about your topic, 10 minutes to outline, 1 hour to write and 30 minutes for rewriting and editing.
Two hours Investing in productive, useful and relevant content in our current information and the digital age is not a bad investment.
What do you think, are you going to try these method of converting ideas into written content? Comment below.