A ‘standard’ writing process

An image showing a person typing on a laptop, to illustrate our post about the writing process.

We all have our own personal writing process. Some of us, like me, sit down, write a blog, read it over once and then publish it. Others write a post, safe it in drafts, and come back to it repeatedly until they are ready to publish.

Whatever method works for you, you work through some or all of the five steps in the writing process. A writing process is never linear. You can move on to the next step, back to a previous one and then on to the next one again.


Prewriting is the step where you get your thoughts down on paper. You brainstorm your scene or story, write short pieces, or an outline, and make notes. Ways to do your prewriting:

  • Begin with a thought-web or a word list and brainstorm your ideas. Make notes.
  • Decide on a purpose, your audience, a format and your tone.
  • Think about what you want to say. Then, create a plan to organize your ideas.
  • Select key ideas and questions to get you started.

Writing (Drafting)

In this step you put your ideas and thoughts together into sentences and paragraphs. Things to consider:

  • Order your ideas, and choose one or more to start your writing.
  • Write your piece in detail, keeping those ideas in mind. Just write, you will make improvements later.
  • Make sure you have a main idea around which you center your writing, and details to support that main idea.

Rewrite (Revision)

Once you have done your writing, it’s time to do the revision and rewriting. You want your sentences to make sense, and your paragraphs to have a logical order. Tips for this step:

  • Revise your first draft with a partner. Pay attention to vocabulary, content and organization, the details that you need to change, add, move or remove.
  • Rearrange words and sentences to clarify the meaning. Be sure to add descriptive words and details.
  • When you can, get feedback from your peers. Of course this is something you would consider with a longer story, not with a blog post.

Proofread (Editing)

In this step of the writing process, you apply the changes you identified in the previous step, and correct grammar and punctuation. Remember to:

  • Check for complete sentences, proper spelling and correct grammar.
  • Reread, or have someone else read, your writing to be sure it’s interesting and makes sense.

Publish your work

Finally it’s time to share your work with others. In this step you prepare a final piece which you either post on your blog, or send to an editor (story submissions).

Writing process: share your tips

Like I said in the beginning, we each have our own writing process. Please feel free to share your tips, either in the comments below, or in our forums. Let’s learn from each other!

Image from Pixabay

5 thoughts on “A ‘standard’ writing process

  1. I need to do more planning. I seem to have a thought and type it out as I go, then post. I should probably do more prep. Sometimes I read what I posted and say, “Damn, that was a bit harsh.” But, those seem to get the most love…

    1. Mike – sometimes that is ok to do as well – your blog is your space. Marie’s post is a thorough explanation of what to do if you are using your writing in a comp or maybe you have been commissioned to write something – great post btw Marie – I very much like the personal touch to your work Mike – it comes from the heart and reality
      May x

      1. I totally agree with this – this post was indeed more for those who participate in competitions, or want to write a book, or a piece of writing they get paid for. I don’t follow these steps when posting on my blog 😉
        Thanks May xox

  2. This is way too methodical for me 🙂 With short essays usually thoughts swirl around my head and at some point they coalesce into something than I can write down in one go. With my photo posts I purposefully choose a random picture and write what comes to mind…I actually want this raw somewhat unsorted train of thought for my images.

    I could do with a dedicated proofreader though….

    1. I don’t follow these steps for my blog posts either, but if you have to write something you get paid for, or participate in a competition, these steps will help you 🙂

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