What kind of writer are you?
I’ve identified two types of writing process – as distinct as two personalities.
1 – The “taking dictation” writer
These are the people I envy. They know exactly what they want to say before they sit down to write.
For them, writing is like taking dictation from their brains. It’s quick, effortless, and powerful.
They make outlines. They follow their outlines. They use templates.
Often they have a close relationship with their audiences. They instinctively know what will resonate with their followers.
And I’ve heard that some musicians (Mozart?) would compose this way.
But that’s not me. I’m
2 – The “write to find out what I want to say” writer
Often I write and write…and then realize what I wanted to say. So I rearrange, edit, and edit again.
I write lots of drafts. I spend more time editing than writing. I actually enjoy the editing process.
Sometimes as I write I realize, “Wow, I’m on to something.”
Other times it’s, “No…not working.” When that happens I rarely discard something completely. I stash it away in a file to revisit later.
There’s no right or wrong process and if there’s a way to rewire your brain, I’d love to hear about it.
Artists also seem to create these two ways. I’ve met professional artists who would dash off a canvas or a ceramic sculpture…and I remember a professional artist in New Mexico saying, “I spent all morning in my studio. I made three things. I threw them all out.”
The bottom line: You work with your style. When you fight your style, you get stalled and become less productive.
The “taking dictation” folks dash off half a dozen articles, email messages, or blog posts all at once. The “write to find out” folks like me? We can’t do that. And we budget extra time for rewrites and revisions.
Most importantly, you may become frustrated when you get advice about writing for your business. When you find yourself thinking, “There is no way on earth I could do what they’re suggesting,” pay attention. Experimenting with a new style may enhance your creativity…or may block your ability to write at all.
What do you think? Which kind of writer are you…and how do you accommodate your style?