Since last November’s NaNoWriMo, I’ve been using what I call the scratchpad method for my writing process. Ever since, I’ve been honing and improving it for my way of writing. Each month, I start a new document and almost every day, I write whatever for that day. That could be a scene for two for a WIP. Or it could be a blog entry.
I’m finding it’s keeping me consistent in my writing quantity. Quantity of word count. Quantity of getting more scenes completed.
Quality comes later.
Here’s the main attitude for using a scratchpad for writing: Just write; don’t worry about how good the writing is; be sloppy; no one’s going to see it; experiment.
Why I like the scratchpad method:
- It’s organic.
- I don’t have to be perfect.
- It takes away the mindset of having to writing something perfectly.
- I find it’s more fun.
- I can see my monthly progress.
- I get more writing done because it’s about the process not the goal.
- For NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, I look at the word count at the end of the day. I use the number as my word progress for that day.
- I’ve found this process helps me work on multiple WIPs simultaneously.
How I do the Scratchpad process:
- Create a folder called Scratchpad
- Create a document in the scratchpad folder for each month. I use the naming convention of year month (example: 202207 for July 2022)
- For each writing session, give it a title. I use the scene’s working title, blog entry title. Then I use a headline text style on that title. On the left of the document, a list of each scene appears and you can use the list to navigate around the scratchpad document. This is helpful for when you want to come back the next day and continue working on a scene.
- If you are working on more than one WIP, at the beginning of the title for the scene, use a one or two letter abbreviation. For example, I use LE for my Legendaries novel and OH for my Oblivion’s Hope novel.
- Each day, work on whatever you want: a scene, a blog entry, a personal journal entry, whatever.
- At the end of the day copy each section of work you did and transfer it to whatever writing software you may be using. For example, I’ll copy the first draft of a scene and paste it into that WIP’s Scrivener document.
Things I include on my scratchpad:
- Writing goals for the day.
- Develop a novel using the snowflake method.
- Answer questions about a scene.
- Bullet point outline for a totally new scene.
- Rough draft for a scene.
- Rewriting a rough draft scene.
- Blog entries for the month.
- Writing advice from writing articles or videos.
- images pasted for description. For example, I Googled pictures of laboratory buildings and pasted one the document. I can reference it for details I may or may not use.
Maybe this writing process doesn’t appeal to you. That’s fair. Everyone is different. I find it keeps me writing more frequently. And getting things done on my WIPs.