Updated: Sep 13, 2018
Every writer has a process. Many writers swear by the process they have, while others are willing to bend their own rules. This is how we approach writing.
Honestly, I grapple with issues of creativity, or the lack of it, more than I admit. On most days, a writer’s block knocks the wind out of me. On other occasions, I’m either extravagantly prolific or just work-shy.
The consistency about this whole business is the variety in way in which I can explore different storytelling.
As general process, I start off with the basic: asking a lot of questions.
Research is obligatory to my process. Where is this story being told? What is the story to be told? Who is the story being told to? How has the story been told before?
It’s all clear and straightforward after this. A superstructure emerges from the questions. The writing process kicks in spontaneously. I try keeping it as flexible as possible. Occasionally, a challenging draft will summon my full range of skills to contest.
Revisions are shunted - first between us - then the client. Typically, the final piece emerges at the end of several drafts. There’s no necessity in getting right the first time.
The imperative is getting the communication, the message, right.
Mentor and former employer, the Chairperson of IEF Entrepreneurship Foundation, Bhairavi Jani made me do this exercise, and I will never forget how simple she made it for me.
I tend to spend about 50% of the allotted time to research - this includes understanding the consumer of the content, reading about the subject, talking to experts if possible or with people who may have an opinion, combing through social media helps with discovering contextually relevant and contemporary thought. I spend 20% of the time writing the piece out, and then 30% of the time editing, re-structuring (if at all), proofreading the draft.
Often, I tend to read at least parts, if not the entire draft, loudly and slowly.
Between the first draft and the first self-edit, I switch off and sleep over it. Between the first self-edit and reading aloud though, I detach myself from the piece completely - if that means writing something entirely different, or even attending a concert, watching a play or film, practicing origami or classical music, I engross myself in an entirely different space mentally and often physically.
I proofread the draft on word as well as on Copyscape. For me, spellings and punctuation have no space in error margins for a writer. Gone are the days when 5% error was acceptable.