Navigating the Writing Path from Start to Finish

Navigating the Writing Path from Start to Finish

writingThis week I would like to detour from my usual topic of getting past our inner blocks to realize our dreams and do something a little different. I have been invited to take part in a writer’s virtual blog tour. A blog tour consists of a whole bunch of experts addressing one topic, in this case writing. If you are an author or an aspiring author you may find it interesting. Here is my contribution, for others please visit the IC publishing blog listed below.

Navigating the Writing Path from Start to Finish

Ahhhh… muses, those whisperings from the gods cause my fingers to fly effortlessly over the keyboard. I have only to listen and inspired passages become words, paragraphs, even entire books on the blank pages in front of me…

… wait… not so fast… writing is a little more complicated than that.

You could say I am a prolific writer. On top of the Shaped Within weekly blog, I am always adding content and new programs to the Shaped Within programs as I continue to work on my second book, “The Pattern Maker Process” (title not yet final). Yet, even though I write a lot, writing does not always come easily to me and, after spending many a year in writers’ groups; I can honestly say that writing doesn’t come easily to many of us. Yet, I also know that anyone who feels the desire can tap into this wisdom within.

And so when Sheri Andrunyk asked me to contribute to the virtual summer blog tour, Navigating the Writing Path: From Start to Finish I welcomed the opportunity. Sheri is not only the founder of I C Publishing (sponsor for this blog tour) and the I C Bookstore, she is also an entrepreneur expert, and author of Working From Home & Making It Work and Hearts Linked by Courage. Her passion about providing more choices and high level support to other writers, business professionals, wellness coaches, and spiritual mentors is clearly visible in all of her work. I am blessed to have Sheri as the publisher of my first book: Shaped Within: Reshaping Weight Loss. I highly recommend that if you have a book inside of you; invite Sheri into your corner. You’ll be glad you did.

And now, without further ado, here is my writing process. I hope it helps to inspire the muses within you.

How do you start your writing projects?

I have come to accept that creation is birthed out of the pain and torment of self-doubt. My writing process starts with what appears to be a brilliant idea but is quickly followed by the frustration of not being able to articulate that idea in a way that is comprehensible to my reader. Scrunched up balls of paper litter the ground around me; a testament to the messiness of my birthing process.

Frankly, it has taken me a long time to come to this realization. I used to think that since it flowed so effortlessly at the end, it ought to flow at the beginning, in the middle and at every stage in between. When it didn’t flow I would feel irritated and frustrated and most of all plagued with self-doubt.

I see now that when things are not flowing it is because I am interfering with the process. The Shaped Within: Pattern Maker Process is about being comfortable in the unknown and trusting that we can create optimal patterns to deal with each situation. To do this I must throw away all concepts such as outlines and structure and trust that the moment will deliver to me the ideas it needs me to put on this paper. I start by clearing away what is in my way.

First I scribe all my negative thoughts and feelings, then all my positive considerations and then I wait. Ideas come disjointed at first but I have learned that these fragmented parts will be brought together into a seamless whole when they are ready. Unfortunately though, I don’t seem to have much control over when or how this will happen. And a lot of my initial ideas, precisely because they came from me, don’t make it at all (hence the balls of paper around my feet). Nevertheless when those muses do start to move through me I would not trade my creation process for the entire world.

During these times I find myself leaping out of bed well before sunrise, excited by whisperings that emanate from the unknown, until sleepy eyes eventually drag me back to bed late at night. During those times there is no time, there is only me and my keyboard, and an effortless flow that transcends time itself.

How do you continue your writing projects?

The hardest part of any piece of writing for me comes in the middle. At this point my identity is still very much present and so I get caught up in traditional or cultural concepts (hence the doubt). I have been known to throw away whole books because I decide part way through I have not been a clear channel for the unknown. In addition, for me style is just as important as ideas and if the style is dry, even if I love the ideas, I lose interest. Therefore, if style is what is interfering with my writing, I will often type a passage from the books of some of my favourite authors.

Stephen King has a way of writing that draws me in and grips me and so I will pick up one of his books and just type a paragraph or two. Another of my favourite styles of writing is done by Patrick Lencioni; his simple prose, short chapters and use of dialogue keeps me reading to the end. I find that writing anything, even if it is not my own project helps me to get the juices flowing. However, I don’t force it when they don’t come. I know eventually the muses will contribute to the work at hand.

How do you finish your project?

The end is the easiest for me. At this point everything has come together. The tortuous self-doubt I experienced at the beginning has left me and writing now flows. At this point I can write an entire book in a weekend or a blog in minutes. And when the feeling of flow stops, I stop; I have come to know this signals that the book or project is complete.

What’s one challenge or additional tip that our collective communities could benefit from?

My favourite tip comes from Ernest Hemingway: ‘Write drunk, edit sober’. Celebrate the process and it will all come together, even if your process is a little disjointed like mine. Know that there is more to you than you are currently aware of and be open to the unknown. It is amazing the wisdom that starts to flow when we simply recognize that we have all we need within.

Passing the Pen

And now I would like to introduce you to two wonderful women and inspiring authors who will pick up the blog tour on July 16 with their contributions. Be sure to check them out, their writing process has made each of them into successful authors and entrepreneurs.

Lori Bateman is the founder of Open Heart Journals and is an author, coach, facilitator and speaker. As a heart connector, Lori teaches a powerful process that shows how to ROCK your relationships with ANYONE you hold dear, by going from distant or disconnected to CLOSE, LOVING and FUN! She shows many despairing women how to take ANY friendship, marriage, family, parental or love relationship and create ones that are MAGICAL and MEANINGFUL!

Website/Blog: www.openheartjournals.com/blog
Twitter: @ohjournals

Sandra Dawes is the founder of Embrace Your Destiny, author, certified life coach and speaker. She teaches overwhelmed and unfulfilled women to stop arguing for their limitations so that they can live the life that they deserve, inspiring others to do the same.

Website/Blog: www.embraceurdestiny.com/blog
Twitter: @sandradawes

Thank you so much for following the I C Publishing Summer Blog Tour! Please feel free to share with friends and colleagues, and join in the conversation using the comments section below or by emailing me directly.

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2 Responses to “Navigating the Writing Path from Start to Finish”

  1. Hi Adele–I’m Alisa (half of the Clifford Rush writing team). I’m also on the IC blog tour. It’s fun reading the different posts. I have to take my hat off to the non-fiction writers. For a fiction writer, non-fiction sounds … like work. 🙂 And perhaps explains the Hemingway tip. Another IC blog tour post talked about editing, editing and more fine editing .. ad nauseam. Both are funny tips. I posted to the tour yesterday. You can see it here http://www.cliffordrush.com/2014/07/mary-mary-quite-contrary-ic-blog-tour/.

  2. Sandra Dawes says:

    Hi Adele! Thanks again for inviting me to be a part of the I C Publishing Summer Blog Tour! Here’s my contribution: http://embraceurdestiny.com/navigating-the-writing-path-from-start-to-finish/ 🙂

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