How I Write

I may be biased but I believe there is magic in writing. Picture sitting with an author or song writer and they tell you in detail how to write a best-selling novel or a hit song.

The truth is that most everything creative boils down to a process. Creativity isn’t knowing what it will look like in the end. There is a lot of secret ingredients needed to complete creative work. It’s difficult to explain why one item of writing outperforms another. I’m often asked how I write, what I use to write and what triggers my ideas for content. (similar questions: how do I decide where this content should go? Blog? Article? Client idea? etc….) I respect the process and here are the key elements that culminates in my final output of writing…

1. The Tools.

The tools I use to write are as follows:

MacBook Pro (Or my custom made monster Office desktop).
Google Docs for newspaper and magazine articles.
Windows Live Writer for Blog post writing. (Adding your Blog to Live Writer makes it easy)
Scrivener for book and book proposal writing.
Evernote and iPhone Camera is where I keep all notes and ideas.
When I write notes out by hand, not often, I use white copy paper, etc…
I use Google Bookmarks to save all Web-based content.

2. The Tactics.

The ideas for content come from the following areas:

Google Reader: I use Google Reader and subscribe to many Blogs, news websites, and social networks on topics as far-reaching as marketing, public relations, branded content, technology, finance, economic development, psychology, art, music, travel, photography, fashion, innovation, etc… (I complement this with news apps, etc… on my iPhone and iPad).
Twitter: I follow interesting people and what they’re linking to in spaces like Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flipboard, etc…
I try to read a few books (iPad and Paper) every month on various topics from business and marketing to creativity and innovation (I almost never read fiction).
I still read (scan) the daily local newspaper and I try to grab the national & International newspapers a few times a week.
Magazines are packed with creativity. Everything from Wired and Fast Company to The Week and The Economist. (Also Photography and Travel)
I consume and study a lot of art (carving, modelling, assemblage and construction) architecture, printmaking, electronic media such as computer and digital graphics, ceramics, Visual Design, Graphic Design, collage, photography and Post Modern appropriation and recontextualisation).

3. The Techniques.

These tools and tactics alone won’t create words. It takes sitting down and working though the details and just writing. Much like my company writing is all about the process. I ask myself questions about topics that inspire me and trying to use critical thinking  to narrow down a thought or idea. Personally, I like sharing stories and relating them to others to create context and value. I also tend to generate large amounts of content in one sitting and revist the content before publishing. This allows the content to bounce around inside of me to the point where I must publish it.

How do you write? What works best for you?