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Put it Down in Writing

By Janice Alonso

Embolden Your Writer with a Plan: Article Ten

pad and penIn column one of this series, I promised to lay out the plan I use to keep my writer within productive. The series has explained that process step-by-step. The plan I use has four segments:

  • idea-gathering
  • researching
  • “actual” writing
  • organizing

At this point, I want to relabel “actual” writing as creating.

When I conduct writing workshops, I present a simple exercise to help beginning writers design a schedule that works for each one individually. I hand out a blank calendar for one week and four different colored pens or highlighters. I then have the students assign a color to each part of the plan . . . for example, idea gathering – pink, researching – blue, creating – yellow, organizing – green. This gives the writer a visual of what his/her writing schedule will look like for the week ahead. I fill out a calendar for myself while they create one for themselves. When I began writing, I employed a colored-coded system, but now writing is a natural part of my life without me having to write it down. The next four paragraphs are a mini version of the process.

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