Another thing I get asked about a lot is my writing process. There are so many different that are taught and, for years, I had thought I was a failure at writing because they didn’t work for me. This started back in high school.
Writing is something I have always done, and done in my own way. When I hit high school, we were taught a method… and one that didn’t work for me.
This is a story I tell often in writers’ groups. I was taught that, in order to write a story, you have to write a plan in dot points, then you write your draft. If your draft didn’t match the plan, the you would lose marks.
The issue I had was that I could write a plan, but when it came to write the story, it would take on a life of its own and go a completely different way! I soon learned to write a quick first draft, then write the plan based on what I had already written. It worked for me. It was also a clear indication of my problem solving skills!
I was also lucky to have some great English teachers, and the writing folio for my year 11 and 12 English was amazing as I could write and explore different styles and genre, and work on methods that worked for me as I wasn’t being marked on plans and drafts.
As an adult, I have been to courses and workshops on writing process, and they didn’t help me write more. Instead I felt like I was doing everything wrong and I was a failure as a writer… so I’ve continued to do things my own way.
I have realised that my first draft is my plan. It doesn’t look like various planning methods that you would read about in writing books or learn about in any workshop, however it works for me.
My brain is autistic and ADHD, and I constantly have ideas floating around in my head. I’ve found the best way to capture them is to just write them and see what happens. As I go through the process, plans take shape and stories happen. Some first drafts are great, others are a hot mess. The main thing is they get written eventually…
I have a lot of ND kids attend my writers groups. One of the things that I encourage them to do is to find the process that works for them. Some of the young writers need a dot point plan, some draw elements, some just start writing.
There is no single way to write a story and it’s important to find the method that works for you, and that’s what I’ve found. I have also found that different stories will have different methods too!
My writing process may seem quirky to some, however it works for me, and when I stick to what works for me, then awesome stories happen.