The other day I referenced the Tim Ferris podcast where Neil Strauss talked about his writing process.
Here are my take-aways:
The first step: Write For Yourself
Neil said that the first step is to write for himself. He said that he wants to write down a few pages and some hefty paragraphs so that it has some bulk before stopping. Then he wants to sit down and finish to get it all out on paper.
The second step: Revise For The Reader
The second step is to revise for the reader, reading as you would read any book. He said that this is the step where you end up throwing out almost half of your book because it’s fluff.
This step reminded me of a Michael Hyatt’s blog post on improving your writing. He has people use CUB as a first edit. Highlight what is Confusing, Unbelievable, or Boring.
The third step: Revise For The Critics
Revision for the critics. He said that he tries to anticipate whatever critique is coming his way and answer their questions so that they don’t have a leg to stand on. Both Tim and Neil said that if you wrote a book that pleased everyone, no one would like it so expect negative critiques.
Neil also said that between writing your final product and editing you shouldn’t wait to long. He specifically mentioned 3 weeks.