When we summon a mental image of a writer, we envision the act of drafting: putting the words down on paper. But the writing process extends far beyond the time drafting. Authors also assemble research, think deeply about topics, and create outlines before they draft. Many drafts require numerous revision cycles.
The act of writing the draft is like the tip of the iceberg. It may loom large on the horizon, but if you neglect what lies below the obvious surface, you risk sinking your endeavor.
The other, often-neglected phases of the writing process, like research and revision, can make all the difference when it comes to the quality of our output. And each step uses different mental systems – requiring distinct approaches, attitudes, and even surroundings.
When you understand how the different mental processes map to the stages of writing, you can set yourself up for success at each stage along the way.
This is the subject of my new book, The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear. It looks at the mental tasks of writing, from confronting procrastination to encouraging creativity. It offers strategies for mastering the inner game by combining lessons from cognitive science with field-tested practices of writers.
The book is available on Amazon today. Take a look and let me know what you think.