Whatever category you fit into, there is one basic description of the process that is relevant for everyone, whether you are more analytical or more spontaneous.
1. Every piece of work starts out with an idea. It is an idea that you have created. It doesn’t matter what sparked it: you now have a seed idea. You will now take this seed idea and use your own unique approach to the writing process to launch your work.
2. The next stage in the process is the bring out the potential of this idea.
If you are what Robert Pirsig (Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance) calls a “classical” thinker, you may choose to sit down and write a detailed outline, carefully developing this seed idea into its fullest expression, before you ever begin the actual presentation itself.
If you are more of a “romantic,” you are less methodical. You’re more of a free spirit, choosing to live in the moment. So you may decide to jot down a few possibilities about how to expand your idea and trust in the moment. If you are an intuitive writer, you may take your idea and start writing, allowing your intuition to guide you.
You may be a little bit of both, but it doesn’t matter which approach you take as along as you carefully nurture your idea so that it develops into the message it was intended to express.
3. The final stage in the process is to prune the outgrowth of your seed idea. Pruning, if done right, will produce a powerful and meaningful message.
During this stage, regardless of your approach to writing, you should read your talk over carefully. Take one paragraph at a time and check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Then check for syntax: the organization of words, phrases, and clauses in a sentence can deliver the power you’re seeking or neutralize your point entirely. Next, make sure that your sentences within a paragraph are in the best order for making your point. Next, determine if any sentences should be cut. Finally, make sure your paragraph is the next logical step in the fleshing out of your idea.
In their execution, these three stages incorporate more detailed steps found in others’ discussions of the writing process. I feel, however, that if you can keep the “big picture” in mind while you’re writing, you’ll be okay. My explanation offers you a structure within which you can do your work – details and all – without losing sight of what you’re trying to accomplish.