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How The Writing Process Helps To Improve Your Content

Understanding the steps of the writing process to create compelling content

- | 130 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Writing

An oriental girl looking for ideas in the writing process
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Do you want quality content for your blog or website? While you can take the help of professional content writing services, why not try to improve your ability to create compelling content. All it takes is understanding and implementing the steps of the writing process; how you should go about writing; where should you start, and what next steps to take. Once you do that, you’ll know how helpful and important it is. Here is the step-by-step approach and explanation of the benefits of the writing process revealed that professional content writers use to create quality content. ~ Ed.

 

Writing may not be a science, but it certainly involves a process. The writing process is all about taking a course of action to create compelling content.

This post is for bloggers and writers, or anyone who primarily has to create and deal with content.

A writing process helps you choose and define the writing methods, perfect your content, and impress your clients and readers with impeccable quality.

However, what happens if you do not follow the procedure prescribed for writing?

Your content suffers, and as a result, not only your readers but even the search engines don’t take much interest in it.

Since content is the king, you need to give it a royal treatment and follow the ideal steps of creation to improve your content.

The first step is to understand the writing process.

“The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.” ~ A. B. Yehoshua

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What Is The Writing Process

Probably you first learned about the process of writing at school, but many writers follow it naturally without even knowing about it.

A writing process is nothing but a series of overlapping steps that you must follow to produce a piece of writing.

When you are in your creative process of writing, you don’t think about steps. I don’t do that either as I tend to write free flow, keeping a few basic steps in mind.

However, it really helps by breaking down the entire process of writing into comprehensible steps.

You understand the process of writing better this way, do not miss out on any element of good writing, and overcome writer’s block.

MUST READ: How to Improve Your Writing Skills in Four Ways

Let’s try to understand the process of writing through the analogy of an industrial process.

You can consider ideas as the raw material, which undergo different stages of fabrication and modification to produce the final product, the written content.

The writing process here is the amalgam of different stages of transformation of content ideas into the final compelling content.

The process of writing is the creation and improvisation of content in an organized and systematic way.

However, unlike the industrial process, it is entirely creative and its steps can change at any given time.

“My writing process is very organic. I start with an idea. I have the general story arc and the cast. But then I sit down to write, and things change.” ~ Sarah Addison Allen

Steps Of The Writing Process

The writing process though often described as having five stages, in fact, cannot be explained in a linear form with a fixed number of steps.

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The steps involved in the process of writing can vary, depending on the kind of content and the writer himself or herself, along with other various conditions.

The generally followed steps of writing process are:

  • Prewriting
  • Drafting
  • Revising
  • Editing
  • Publishing

To properly carry out and complete each step, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

– Why do you want to write the content?

– What do you want to convey?

– Who will be reading your content?

You will have to keep questioning yourself and your process of writing to know if you’re on the right track, like:

– Am I developing the ideas in the right way?

– Is the order of ideas correct?

– Does it all make good sense?

– What can I do to make it more effective?

– And more.

But foremost, you should ask if your ideas serve your purpose and whether the resulting content will be useful.

Well, after you answer the questions, you should follow the below mentioned points to make these steps of the writing process effective.

Prewrite (Thinking Stage)

– define your goal

– decide your audience

– choose a topic

– gather and organize your ideas

Draft (Writing Stage)

– write your ideas down on paper

– create the outline and heading

– don’t worry about editing or making mistakes – just write!

– explore new ideas as you write

Revise (Improving Stage)

– add details and ideas

– delete ideas that are off topic

– rearrange sentences or parts of sentences

– consult with peer readers, if possible

Edit (Correcting Stage)

– check spelling mistakes

– fix punctuation mistakes

– undo capitalization mistakes

– correct other grammar mistakes

Publish (Sharing Stage)

– choose a format

– neatly print, type, and save the final draft

– add audio or visuals

– give it a final read

These steps may further be divided into sub-steps, or overlap each other, or even follow an irregular repetitive pattern.

The writing process of different writers may show different patterns, but it all starts and ends with the same steps.

Here is a diagram that shows different writing steps some writers follow.

 

A chart describing the writing process

 

Understanding the Benefits and Importance of The Writing Process

As you observed, essentially writing starts with your thoughts. It is your idea that gives birth to your piece of content.

Foremost, you need to brainstorm, either all by yourself or with your team to decide on the theme, objective, desired results, the format, and tone, etc.

You need to have a writing strategy, which is all about preparing a systematic plan of action.

If you want to know more, then you can read my guest post about writing strategies to create compelling content.

The writing strategies act like a road-map that never lets you get lost, helps creates guidelines, and provides a structure to your ideas.

As per your writing strategy, you might first jot down all the ideas and create an outline of the content.

Then you keep writing, revising, rewriting, revising again. Sometime you might even decide to change your outline and direction altogether in the middle of your writing, and then repeat the entire process.

It is good if you can sleep over your written content or give it some resting time, and revise with a fresh pair of eyes.

“The writing process is a constant cycle of thinking, drafting, and reviewing.”

Most of the authors, bloggers, and writers follow this process of writing – nobody gets it right the first time!

So, don’t shy away from writing a several drafts because with each revision, you improve your content.

Here is a flow diagram that shows how dynamic the writing process is – you have many changes and considerations at each step.

A flow chart diagram showing a detailed writing process

Source: Webster

Now, as you have read all about the writing process, do you think it is easy?

I am always surprised when I read that writers can churn out an article in a few minutes!

More so, some clients expect the writers to deliver a 1000-word well-researched article in an hour!

Do you think it is possible to produce content so quickly if you follow the entire writing process properly? Of course not.

I don’t think you can ever get the quality if you try to quicken or shorten the writing process.

However, if the whole process seems overwhelming to you, then you do not have to go through it. Why not delegate or outsource the task to someone else?

Someone who is competent and professional and employs the writing process in content writing. As of what I know, most professional writers follow a strict procedure to produce quality content.

So, why not improve your content with a content writing service. The choice is yours.

“If writing didn’t require thinking then we’d all be doing it.” ~ Jeremiah Laabs

My Writing Process

When I start writing, the paper or document appears as a blank canvas. It is exciting as it is an opportunity to create something from scratch.

Honestly, sometimes viewing a blank page could even cause anxiety, but that is if you do not plan your work in advance.

However, you don’t have to worry if you follow a writing process. Being a blogger and writer, that’s just what I follow most of the time.

DO READHow Starting A Freelance Writing Career Changed My Life

The task of content creation seems challenging, but that is what I love. Let me share with you my process of writing.

I try to brainstorm and contemplate to come up with a seed idea.

Then I think about how I can develop the idea and create a story around it considering my content needs.

Next, I create a title to reflect my content theme. I can always modify this later, if required.

Now I make a rough outline of the headings and sub-headings to give a structure to my ideas. This is all the pre-writing stuff.

Then comes the drafting stage, in which all I’ve to do is fill up this structure with relevant content. I use my knowledge, personal experience, and research for this purpose.

I keep revising and re-reading the content as I write. That’s because I usually write long and want the different content sections to remain connected in a logical order. (If you wish, you can keep the revision for last.)

In the process, I also get new ideas that I insert in the first draft. As I get an idea – I jot it down, and don’t let it go!

Ideas are too valuable and that’s why you need to stay alert and focused because you never know when  one comes to you!

Slowly I keep on adding brick by brick to make the entire structure. I feel like a potter sometimes, who molds the clay into various forms before giving it a final shape.

Once I have written to the best of my ability and added all I could gather to help my readers, I start polishing the content structure by editing and proof reading. 

Next I reread and revise the content many times to spot the errors, though I am never satisfied as I feel it can always become better. 🙂

Then, I add, delete, change the words and sentences, or sometime restructure and re-position entire paragraphs to enhance the flow of the article.

Reading the content  aloud or in your mind helps you to keep a check on the tone and choice of words.

Overall, I make sure the entire content is cohesive and coherent, meaningful and useful, relevant and resourceful, and engaging and interesting.

Wrapping It Up

The writing process is important and no doubt it has numerous benefits. Following a writing process makes things easy for you.

The entire process takes hours, and even more if you have to choose the images, quotes, and create a beautiful and impressive layout, especially for bloggers.

Finally, you publish the post if you’re a blogger, or deliver the article if you’re a freelance writer.

Who said writing or blogging was easy? 🙂

However, if you understand and carry out the writing process in the right way, you can create compelling content each time.

When your content is ready and published, and people like it, your efforts are paid off by reading their wonderful comments. What more would a blogger or writer want?

You don’t mind sweating for it because that’s the labor of love – your love of writing and the process of creation.

The result is sweeter if you’re able to implement the writing process and improve your content, which you really do.

Don’t wait any longer, start processing your writing in the way discussed in this post and make your articles or blog posts successful!

“Anyone who says writing is easy isn’t doing it right.” ~ Amy Joy

Over to You –

What is the writing process you follow? How do you create or improve your content? Share in the comments.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos, Enokson

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Show Comments

130 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Andrew Howe

    May 11, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Harleena!
    Thanks for this article! I appreciate your job, and I love that you included a picture with the description of the writing process.
    As for me, I’ve found that working on your drafts is beneficial. If I’m not in the mood to write, I dig into my drafts and find something to work on. Sometimes it gives me insight, sometimes I add something and, therefore, breath the new life in it.

    Do you work with your unpublished articles?
    Cheers,
    Andrew

  2. Rajeesh Nair

    May 26, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I believe that art is all about creating masterpiece whether you’re a writer or a painter. Painters often focus on imagination from their past experiences or surroundings and take inspiration from them to create either a mirror image of it or something totally unique out of their creative brain. That’s a process every painter follows.

    Similarly, writers too need to follow a process if they wish to create a masterpiece content. It won’t be same as painter but it will definitely take some good amount of time to write a breathtaking content.

  3. Zain Khan

    April 1, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Indeed a great post for newbie like me.i never followed these steps but i do drafting then editing at last grammar check and proof reading.

  4. Abrar Mohi Shafee

    December 14, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Thanks for your post. I think writing process is very much important and should be developed for better consequence.

    While I write, I followed 3 steps. First I research deeply on Google and collected as many data as possible. Then, at the second step, I cultivate them and mind set the structure of content, what I will add where. After that in the final step, I try to reflect my mind.

    I think, everyone has their own style of writing, so the process might vary. After reading this post, I’ve got a few more ideas to enhance my writing process. 🙂

  5. Kathi Miller

    September 25, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Harleena,

    Great tips that showcase how much having a process around the writing can help. I must admit, I write my title last. I’m curious, do you write it first as a system to help you stay on topic?

  6. Gladys

    September 6, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Hello Ms. Harleena
    I am definitely late on this awesome article.

    I think I received a year’s education on writing.

    The format/ strategy you gave is great, and I really want to follow it, so that I can grow as a blogger.

    I need to learn to put the right words together to convey my thoughts.

    Thank you! I found this on Pintetest

  7. Rahim

    September 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    The article is very well written. I am a new blogger start writing initially it was quite difficult to write a single paragraph, after ridding these materials form internet now I am able to write 600 to 1000 words. It really helps me to improve my writing.

  8. Rahul Kashyap

    September 3, 2014 at 10:49 am

    hello Ma’am,

    really it is very informative post for me coz i am new in the field and if i am talikg about my writing style it is very simple and i’m using MS Office for writing also use ginger for grammar improvement….

    and still learning writing improvement for your blog and another blogs 🙂

    thanks
    Rahul Kashyap

  9. Talal

    August 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I too follow the same writing process steps. My writing style has improved a lot in past 2 years.

  10. Prasenjeet Kumar

    June 12, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Thanks Harleena.

    It is indeed a great article. When I choose a topic that I am passionate about. The first thing I do is to make an outline. The outline usually is a skeleton framework of the book. I write down the names of the chapters and sub-chapters. I make bullet points as to what exactly I want to cover in a chapter. This really helps me a lot. I find that when I actually sit down to write my book, I am not wandering needlessly wasting my time, energy and effort writing aimlessly. In this way, you can write for a purpose, what your audience will like to read, etc.

    I look forward to reading more of your articles.

  11. Md Tajuddin

    June 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    “The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.”
    That’s very true ! I really appreciate your content framing strategy..

    But promotion of post is also very important part of seo ..Superb writing..

  12. krishnan

    June 9, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Your writing plan is good,well, when come to me, i just write the content then edit if need adding some points later it will go to publish.

    but, as per your process, it will really enhance the quality of the content because, pre-writing is good idea to give importance the points related to the subject which i don’t follow, sure i will implement immediately

  13. Ann

    June 4, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Great!

    Another epic content from you, Harleena! 🙂 Glad I’ve found your post again.

    This is such an interesting topic.

    Writers are striving to create quality content for their own sake, and also for the sake of their readers. Well, amazingly, they should not look for other ways on how to improve their content, because they already improving it with the help of their writing process.

    I’m fascinated to know this fact, and realized that you’re right. Writers should not only focus on little things, but they should also look for general practices.

    I like the ideas and insights shared in the article above. They are all valuable and remarkable.

    Thanks for this awesome and informative post! I’ve indeed learned a lot. 🙂

    Best,
    Ann07

    By the way, I found this post shared on Kingged.com

  14. David Merrill

    June 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I’ve done a good deal of professional freelance writing, Harleena, and I must say… you’ve taught me more than a few things about the processes to use.

    The blank page is a scary place to be. This helps to turn it into a workspace real fast. Thanks for all the great ideas.

  15. Jennifer Kennedy

    June 3, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Hey Harleena!!

    I’ve been MIA for a while, but was really excited to read this post because I’m always trying to improve my writing process. I need to get out of the habit of writing a blog post within a few short days and just do a little bit of it at a time.

    I’d love to start adding more of the pre-writing segment into my weekly practice. I feel as though this will help me work through and outline my ideas so that I’m not floundering for what to say when it comes to the draft time.

    Love that you outlined this process. It’s super helpful!!

  16. Sarah Arrow

    June 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Harleena, what a great resource, I’ve just had to share it.

    I love the flow charts on the writing process but I’ll be honest and say I’ve not really given much thought to it lately. In the past I’ve obsessed over it and now I seem to have gotten over it.

    Having read this and shared it, you can bet I’ll be paying more attention to what I’m doing.

  17. Reginald

    June 1, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Hey Harleena,

    Great article. I think the biggest thing we NEED to do is the proof reading part. Most of the time, we just write and hit the publish button.

    Do the extra step by reading it and take the opportunity to add more value to the article.

    Top notch Harleena!

    • Harleena Singh

      June 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Hi Reginald,

      Glad you liked the post. 🙂

      Yes indeed, it’s the editing and proofreading, besides the several revisions that take up most of the time, especially for bloggers as time is always an issue with most of us. But if you follow such a process of writing, I am sure the edits will be a limited few too.

      Reading always helps you to become a better writer, though be careful about what you read online too!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂




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How The Writing Process Helps To Improve Your Content

by Harleena Singh time to read: 8 min