Writing Process

Posted by Stuart Lennon on

A couple of people have recently asked me about my process for writing content.

It has taken me a while to arrive at my current process, and I daresay that it will continue to evolve, but essentially I try to keep the process deliberate and separate.

Strategy

Sounds very grandiose, doesn’t it? All it means, is that I think about what I am trying to achieve. I write content for more than one outlet and each has different aims.

I don’t retain a framed strategy document. The act of thinking and noting it is the important part, not the output. In fact, the strategies all sit in various pocket notebooks living in my Field Notes Archive boxes.

Calendar

I resisted a Content Calendar for the longest time. I felt it unnecessary. However, despite the best of intentions, life gets in the way. Particularly in a small business, you look away for a minute, and suddenly there have been no posts for a month.

Analogue fan that I am, I’m no luddite. Shared electronic calendars are awesome.

I use iCloud and Google to collaborate. I have a different calendar for each outlet and a calendar set (on Fantastical) that allows me to see all content together. This is important, as it means that I can manage schedules meaningfully. It’s all very well to plan a post every week, but if you are publishing in five places, then you are now required to produce a post per day. Great if you have the time - a millstone if you don’t.

Drafts

I write all my first drafts by hand. Mostly in pencil (Thanks TJ) and mostly in medium notebooks. I write quickly and messily. I seldom use erasers, but liberally cross out. Once finished, I’ll put the book away until I need to digitise the post.

Write Content Journal and Pencil

Edit

I edit as I transcribe. Generally, I avoid transcribing into the back-end of a website. Different platforms have different formatting syntax, and copy/pasting can be frustrating and tiresome. I write in an app called Bear, using markdown.

Once the words are in, I look at images, links, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the like. I have a terrible habit of using photos directly from the camera, which is terrible for memory usage and loading times. I’m disciplining myself to edit and format photos first on Adobe.

Publish and Promote

Once happy, I schedule the article to publish, and schedule social media posts to promote it.

There you go.

#simples

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