I believe that all stories are sacred. The only thing I like almost as much as writing the beautiful details of my own life is helping other people find their voices.
Writing is a complex process. Anyone who has tried it knows that it’s usually more than just sitting down with a computer or pen and paper, plunking down your story one word after another.
I’ve found that strategizing my project saves me a lot of time and effort.
Take what I’m doing for my ghost writing client today. We’ve been working on an outline together. I’ve plugged that outline into a great tool called Scivener. I’m using Scrivener to do a sanity check on the length of the book and pacing. This will answer questions like:
- Will the book be about as long as we thought when we started the project or do we need to do some editing?
- What parts of the book should stand out? How can I set up my structure and my word count goals to make sure they do?
- What is the narrative arc of the book? (Every book has one. Even non-fiction instructional guides.) Does the overall structure make sense?Are we missing any major points? Are we hitting the same major point too much in too many places?
Imagine how helpful it is to answer these kinds of questions long BEFORE you actually start writing. On the other hand, imagine figuring out that you’re covering a specific topic in so many places it should have its own section, or that your book is going to come in at 150,000 words when you’ve planned and budgeted for self-publishing around 50,000… AFTER you’ve written 2/3 of the book? That’s a lot of re-work. Wouldn’t it be better to know within the first month or so of working on your project?
I’ve been a project manager for over a decade, and I put a lot of my project management skills to work in my writing projects. Not everyone writes this way. Some people really can sit down and write a book from beginning to end. But if you’re not one of those lucky few, maybe you could use some help strategizing your project.
I also support other writers who work independently but just want some company. I host two weekly Writers’ Study Halls where we share our writing challenges and triumphs and then spend 80 minutes writing. Sound good?
If you want to get in touch, email me. I’d love to hear from you.