Some questions were floating around Twitter today regarding the writing process and a writer’s preferences. It made me think about my writing processes and how they were developed. There are three main things that I write or have written that have different writing processes: research papers, blogs, and novels/manuscripts.
My writing process for research papers developed in junior high school. I attended a private school so they drilled us with the proper skills to research and write a research paper. I lost count on the number of five paragraph essays that I wrote the first year, and that particular format I still use today (i.e. this blog). Generally my research papers start out with lots of note cards filled with quotations, references, and other notes. Those note cards are then developed into a research paper with complete bibliography. Sometimes I have strayed away from this method, but I always come back to the 3×5 method.
For my blogs I don’t really have a formal writing process. I get inspired by conversations with friends, and more recently tweets from twitter. I also use the blog to vent about life, mainly my guy problems, when I have them. But the actual process of writing the blog has not rhyme or reason. Most of my blogs have been written while at work (including this one), not because I am overly inspired while I am there it’s just more convenient. Some post are written in a half an hour, while others are written over a week’s time. Most posts are written out in Word, sometimes Notepad, before posting. I have hand written very few of my posts.
My writing process for my manuscripts is in a whole different world. A lot of it depends on my mood. Sometimes I get an urge to write out my story ideas. But that’s not the only thing, I have to go buy a new fancy pen from the office supply story and a new spiral bound notebook or pack of college ruled loose leaf paper. Other times I am all about my laptop. Each type of media has the convenience of portability. Ultimately the manuscripts final destination is the laptop. I have to type up everything I have written, this does provide a way for me to edit and change the details. Location is not a major factor in my manuscript writing, I enjoy writing at home and at local coffee shops. Sometimes I write while at work, but have found that work is not a place conducive to my creativity.
These writing processes for papers, blogs and manuscripts are varied and these methods are something I have been doing for years. Every now and then I will add something new to the process, but it tends to be quickly discarded. It is the tried and true methods that get the job done for me.
What are your writing processes?