Easily the most challenging and frustrating process of my life.
The writing process can be a daunting task for anyone, and for me, it was. Every writer has a unique process, and if you haven’t read how I became an author, you need to go back and read my last blog post. It’s important to know how I started because I was honestly making this stuff up as I went! I didn’t know a single self-published author. I was doing a lot of my research through Youtube and Google University and learning as I went. I probably didn’t do everything right, but this was my process, and it’s certainly not the only way.
Having the inspiration and idea behind your book is the first step to writing it. I was so passionate about my nonprofit FACTS, I wrote my book to extend my reach and help teens all over the world learn financial literacy. Your inspiration can come from a personal experience, knowledge, or expertise in an area, a conversation, or a mix of multiple elements!
Putting words to paper
After having the inspiration, my writing process started with brainstorming or, as I like to call it, idea vomit. I write down all my ideas, thoughts, and notes that come to mind, even if I don’t use them. I personally must do this step pen to paper. I use different color pens, highlighters, anything hence the term idea vomit. Seeing it on paper helps me get a clearer picture of what I want to write about.
From Idea to Manuscript
The next step in my writing process is outlining. I take all the ideas I’ve come up with in the brainstorming process and organize and structure them to make sure I am staying on track with my ideas. I used a mapping system to come up with my characters and timeline. The characters I created for the book were all based on real people in my life, so character descriptions were probably the easiest part for me.
From Concept to Content
After outlining, I move on to the actual writing process. I take my notes and outline and flesh out my ideas into a first draft. This is often the most time-consuming part of my process and definitely my least favorite. I said in my last post I didn’t think I should be an author because I was a numbers person. So, there were days I could not write. The financial information was the easy part, but coming up with the storyline was eh.
Edit, Revise, Repeat
Lastly, the step where I learned the most was editing and revising. This step involved going through my draft and making sure everything was cohesive and flowed well. I didn’t know how many different types of editors I would need! There are so many! From content editors, proofreaders, and line editors, I had to learn the differences between each and realize that not every editor does all types of editing. And it’s not cheap! Some charge by the word count, some by the page. Just depends!
Well, that’s it. My writing process from start to finish as a new self-published author. I hope you found it helpful. Wishing you the best on your author journey!