The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear

“Research-based, hands-on, step-by-step wisdom that can help you wrestle with the lizard brain. Certain to help thousands of would-be writers write.” — Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception

Writing is an intensely personal act, yet all writers face similar problems related to focus, procrastination, creativity, and productivity.

Master the Inner Game of Writing
This book combines the field-tested practices of successful and productive writers with insights from cognitive science. By understanding how your mental processes affect the work, you can master the inner game of writing.

The Writer’s Process is a practical guide to finding your best writing process. Topics include

– How to invite your brain to work when you’re not actively writing
– Why writing is like baking bread, with many steps including periods of incubation
– How to structure your surroundings for each phase of the writing process

The Writer’s Process is a Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award finalist.

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3 thoughts on “The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear

  1. Once you learn how to learn, learning becomes much more effective and efficient.

  2. Every Writer Needs This Book Are you struggling to develop a disciplined writing regimen? Would you like some professional advice?Read Anne Janzer’s book, “The Writer’s Process.” Anne offers sage advice on structuring and maintaining your writing routine. As she states in the Introduction: “Writing is intensely personal. Productive writers develop strategies that suit their individual personalities and environments.”“How?” you ask. Your schedule is full. You’re swamped with work and constant interruptions. You need to spend time with family and friends. You’re distracted by the Web, email, and social media.Help has arrived. “The Writer’s Process” is full of great ideas and advice to help you make writing a vital part of your life. For starters, we need to condition our brains for writing. Anne asks “What if we could apply cognitive science principles to determine our own perfect methods for creativity and productivity?”Cognitive science!? Don’t let that scare you. Anne explains that cognitive science “…offers rational explanations for the practices that many successful authors employ.” It can help you develop a better understanding of your brain activities. Those practices can help or hinder your ability to write.As Anne points out, many famous novelists, entrepreneurs, and scientists have struggled – and still struggle – to maintain a writing routine. Following the suggestions and processes in her book can help you “…hone the craft of writing through practice; it does not arise from understanding the mind alone.” The more you practice, you learn to “express thoughts coherently and creatively through the written word.”GET TO KNOW THE SCRIBE AND THE MUSEYou’re never alone on your writing journey. Anne introduces you to two new helpers who personify your left and right brain hemispheres:* The Scribe (left brain) is intentional, analytical, and verbal. It keeps us focused and disciplined. Think academic instruction, where you learn how to write an essay, polish your grammar and spelling, and form sentences.* The Muse (right brain) is intuitive, nonverbal, creative, and empathetic. Anne says that it “fills a critical role, finding unexplored connections and fresh ways of approaching subjects.” Think creative writing.The Scribe and the Muse make regular appearances in Anne’s book. You need both of them to nurture you. Anne reminds us that we must write with both minds: “…our successful careers depend on balancing the Scribe and the Muse. When the two don’t work together well, the writer suffers.”PAY ATTENTION AND STAY FOCUSEDThe Writer’s Process devotes a chapter to the subject of attention, starting with this assertion:“Attention and focus are essential skills for writers in a noise-filled world.”Two types of attention direct the Muse and Scribe as you work. These are attributed to “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence,” a book by Dr Daniel Goleman:* Focused (Scribe): The Scribe helps you shut out distractions and zero in on a task. Find and establish an environment that enables you to do this.* Open (Muse): The Muse takes over when your mind isn’t focused on a particular task; when you detect environmental changes, including changes in the responses and body language of other people; and when you make connections between unrelated areas or ideas.Anne encourages writers to switch between these two types of attention and learn to reach a state of flow.FOLLOW THE FLOWHave you have been engaged in something – often without interruption – and you later realize that an effortless number of hours have passed? You have reached a state of flow, a concept established by Hungarian Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.Chapter 3 of The Writer’s Process is focused on the concept of flow as it applies to writing. Anne describes the state as follows: “If you’re drafting, the words roll out smoothly. During revision, you become absorbed in the text and the process of refining it. The state of flow connects you to the joy of writing.”Wouldn’t we all like to reach flow nirvana? The rest of Chapter 3 gives you tips and ideas about experimenting with your writing environment, using dedicated writing tools, freewriting, and freeing yourself from multitasking – at least for a while.EXERCISE YOUR CREATIVE MUSCLES“All good writing is creative, no matter the genre.” Anne JanzerI could go on about “The Writer’s Process,” but I would be writing a book about the book. I could rave about the chapters on creativity, self-discipline and procrastination, research, finding time to write, working through writer’s block, and finishing a book. But I would rather you discover those chapters. They will make us all better writers.Remember the following quotes from Anne…

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