My wife and I are big fans of the HGTV show Love It Or List It. The premise of the show is this: Hilary tries to remodel a home so that the family will want to stay in it and David tries to find the family a better home so they will move out.
Today as I was writing this post a wonderful metaphor hit me right in the face. This show demonstrates perfectly the process of writing and organizing a blog post.
Building/Remodeling The House
No one builds a house one room at a time. First they construct the outer walls. Then the inner walls. Then everything goes crazy.
Once the framework is up people start working on every single room of the house at the same time.
It is the same with remodeling. On the show, once Hilary gets into the house there are people putting sheet rock up in the bedroom while someone else is tiling the kitchen.
I write in the same way. For me the process of creation is non-linear. Starting with an introduction, moving to the first paragraph and so on until the conclusion would be impossible for me. I wouldn’t even try it. Usually I start with an idea and a I write down a few bullet points. Once the house is constructed I start filing out the rooms.
Paragraphs come together. Words spill out at random. Some rooms are finished before others. Some don’t get any attention until the very last minute.
Often, if something feels wrong, I will rip it all out and start over. I had the idea for the HGTV connection when I was about halfway through this post. I had to delete most of the things that I had written, some of which were quite awesome.
Giving The Tour
Although you can build a house or write a post all over the place you can’t show it to someone else that way.
If Realtor David started by showing people the kitchen then the 2nd floor bathroom, then the basement closet, then the main floor dining area he probably wouldn’t get many people to move in.
The same is true of your blog posts.
When you show your ideas to someone else it has to happen in a logical order. If most of your thoughts are still sitting half formed in your head or if you start running all over the place you will lose your reader.
Are you a linear writer or all over like me? What tricks do you use to keep yourself organized?
Image credit: Flickr