As a ghostwriter you are going to have to write a lot, write often and write fast if you want to make a great living with your writing. In order to make it easier on yourself you’re going to want to create a writing process you can follow for every project. Not every writer has the same process for writing but most follow a similar path.
So let’s talk about some key elements to a good writing process. Don’t worry about implementing every suggestion, though. Experiment with them, then pick what works for you and leave the rest.
Some people like to do a brainstorm or a ‘brain dump’ before putting down anything official for their content. This can be done on paper if you’re old school or you can use a mindmap to put your ideas out there. The whole idea of brainstorming is to throw out everything you’ve got. Then you go back at it with fresh eyes and remove ideas that won’t fly and then convert it to an outline.
Depending on your own knowledge of the topic and the complexity of the content itself, it may or may not require research. One tried and true method for researching many topics is to create a folder on your computer desktop and then create a new folder for each article or content piece. This is if you require notes, links and other materials to refer back to from my research. You could also try one of the popular note-taking apps, like Evernote or Circus Ponies Notebook. Again, play around and find what works for you.
Once you’ve got a good idea of what you want to write about you’ll probably want to create an outline. When you use an outline it’s almost like doing one of those ‘connect the dot’ activities that we did as children. You simply follow your outline, drawing from one point to the other by filling it in with content. This can make a seemingly overwhelming project much easier to tackle, by breaking it into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Once you’ve done the preparation it’s finally time to write! Be as effective as you can with your writing by using a timer to keep you focused on the task at hand. Using a timer helps you avoid getting distracted or spending too much time thinking and not enough writing. Start by setting your timer for small chunks of time – trying to stay focused for an hour or more is exhausting. Better to work in 30 or 45 minute increments, then take a short break before getting back to work.
Spell Check & Editing
Now your writing won’t be complete without a final check and editing. Don’t do this immediately after you’ve completed your writing. Let your content sit and then come back later, with fresh eyes. Some writers find the automatic spelling and grammar check features of their word processor to be distracting, so you might consider turning them off during the draft phase.
As a ghostwriter it’s so important for you to be good at planning, organizing, writing and editing your work. This checklist should help you develop your own process so that you won’t have to reinvent your process every time you work on a new project.