Much of the work I do with writers, especially authors, is to help them understand that writing is a process. You don't just sit down and start writing Chapter 1, finish that chapter, and seamlessly move onto the next one. Before you can get to that place where you're writing full sentences, you need to know what you're writing about. You need to gather fodder, play with ideas, go down a few paths. Once you've gathered the fruit of your creative labors, then you can start forming that fruit into a more coherent message.

What that means is that you have to honor all parts of the creative process. It's a cycle, and once you understand the cycle and how to manage it, you'll find your writing goes much more smoothly.

1. Schedule discrete blocks of time for all three parts of the writing process: Create, Write, Revise/Edit. Your first priority is to create and play. That might look journaling, mind mapping, interviewing people, outlining, story boarding. Note that I've not said anything about writing. Then you move onto the writing - and have a separate, blocked-out time for that. Finally, you enter the editing and revision stage where you polish your draft and make sure it's conveying your message accurately and effectively.

2. Understand that each part of the process is separate. You can't move immediately from Create to Write and then from Write to Revise/Edit. You use a different part of your brain for each stage, and it's awfully difficult to turn on a dime. Work on one part of the process and stop for a while (whatever "a while" looks like for you) before moving onto the next.

3. Allow yourself to move back and forth among the various parts of the writing process. If you're stuck in Chapter 7, go back to the Create part and spend some time with the issue that has you stuck. Work through it until you can move onto the Write stage. Conversely, you might want to go back to Chapter 1 and see if there's any tightening up (revise/edit) you need to do there.

4. Periodically, review the big picture of what you're doing. What's your purpose; who's your audience; what's your message? These questions and their answers are the beacons you need to keep with you to light the way. Refer to them every now and then and make sure you're staying on track. It's much easier to adjust midcourse rather than have to do a lot of backtracking at the end.

5. Know that you may need to adjust. If you're embracing the writing process and its cycle completely, then you may find you have to do course correction. Don't get stuck in the "But I originally said I was doing this, and so I HAVE to do it this way." Actually, you don't. Trust yourself, listen to your instincts, and follow your energy.

Understanding the writing process and its cycle will make writing infinitely easier. You won't get bogged down by thoughts of "I'm stuck" or "I should be writing." Instead, you can replace those statements with "I'm marinating this idea" or "I'm letting this idea play out and see where it goes."

Play. Create. Let yourself ease into the cycle. Write.

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Shuler, Content Creator Extraordinaire, helps entrepreneurs and authors convey their deep message into compelling words, whether it's marketing material or a book, as well as to create powerful content to increase their credibility, visibility, and profitability. Her soul purpose is to help entrepreneurs unleash their authentic selves into their businesses through their content. She created the Writing From Your Soul system to help business owners connect more powerfully, reach more people, and make a difference. Download the free, 13-step system at