Step one, step two, and step three are complete. Step four is the most important, the longest piece of, and the most difficult part of the process. Step four of the writing process is to write. To write your story for the next day, week, month, year. To write for as long as it takes to get your story on the page.
This is the step that absolutely has to be completed, that can’t be skipped or skimmed or given anything less than a writer’s best effort to accomplish. It should be a mantra on every writer’s heart and one that I have said before and will say again: no one can write your story but you. And this story HAS to be written. It has to be written because we know these characters and these characters have invited us into their world to accompany them on their journey. It has to be written because the world is begging to be explored, to be brought out of a writer’s mind and onto the page so others can walk the same paths and gain their own insight from the journey. It has to be written because it is a story that matters.
The writing can happen anywhere, anytime, any place. Write when and where and how it works for you. I have one writer friend that gets up very early and writes in the morning hours before the day with family and work begins. I have another writer friend who writes in the moments that appear between playing with her kids and traveling around for work. I write whenever I can, though my best work is done at the end of the day and late into the night when my daughters are asleep and the tasks for the day are complete. I write at my computer, on my couch, at my kitchen table, and in the passenger seat of my van. My friends write in a variety of places that include but are not limited to their home offices, bedroom floors, kitchen tables, and desks during lunch breaks. There is no wrong time of day, or place to write. Any space that can be made to write is a place the story will breathe and grow. It’s time to take this step. It’s time to get the story on the page!
Where do you write? Do you write on the computer, in a journal, a combination of the two, or something else? When is your favorite time to write? In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.
A very important disclaimer, as seen in previous steps of this process: This answer is going to be vastly different from writer to writer, and sometimes project to project. The steps in this series are not meant to be followed exactly and precisely each and every time a writer takes on a project. I’m describing the steps and the process I loosely follow when starting a writing project. Each part and piece is a distilled version from advice, workshops, conferences, worksheets, teacher training, student experience, and other things I know I’m surely forgetting that have all settled into this version of what my writing process, generally speaking, is today.