Writing is a five-step process.
GATHER: First, collect all the material needed to create the piece you are writing. You can evaluate it later. For now, collect as much as you can. You can collect information the following ways:
Research–Using the Internet, books, magazines and encyclopedia’s learn as much as you can about your topic.
Interview–Ask questions of people who know more about your topic than you do. Start with the basics: Who, what when, where, how, why?
Senses–If possible, experience your topic in person and use your five senses to experience it. Describe your experience.
Brain–Yes, your brain can be a source of information. Record everything you already know about your topic. Add that to what you have collected.
SORT: Second, you have to determine what you are writing about and then pick the details you will use. Answer these questions:
In one or two sentences, what is your main idea?
What’s the most interesting part?
Can you identify ambition and complication for each person in your story?
Who’s point of view will you tell the story from? (Which part of the story will you tell)?
If you include a story, can you limit your scope to one scene per every 300 words?
ORGANIZE: Third, you have to order the information in a way that makes sense to your reader.
You know the story because you have done the research. However, you can’t tell everything. So, which part will you tell? Pick pieces from the material you have gathered that best support the answers to the above questions. Organize your answers into lists you can write from.
Consider using templates to help you organize your information.
WRITE: Finally, now that you have gathered, sorted and organized, you are ready to write.
First, silence the outer voices. Turn off your phone, shut down your email, log out of social media. The world is a noisy place. Quiet the noise before you write.
Second, silence the inner voices, that critic inside your head, the one that tells you that you don’t have anything worth writing about anyway, tell that critic to be quiet. It’s time for you to write.
Third, especially if you are writing to inspire, drink deeply from the well of your faith. Jesus said it like this:
“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
The living water Jesus talked about is available to every writer who asks for it. Ask before you write.
You have done the hard work. You have something to write about. Now it’s time to write.
REWRITE: Learn how to rework your writing to make it more interesting so that people will want to read it when you are done.
Collect all the courage you can muster, and ask someone else to read what you have written. Close your mouth and listen to everything they say about your work. If they don’t understand what you have written, rewrite it so that they do understand it.
If you will plan before you write, even if it seems foreign to you, then your work will be organized and you will be able to reduce the amount of time you spend writing and rewriting.