When Writing, Focus on your ICON

Pneumonic devices are one of my favorite memory tools. 

For writing, I have found that my process can be summarized with the acronym...


Ideation. Whatever ideas are bubbling in my mind when I wake up or sit down to write, I get them out of my head and onto paper (or onto the computer). It might be blog titles or chapter subsections, I may only have a series of bullet points or general ideas, but taking those thoughts, those sparks, and honoring them enough to get them out there is the first step. Sometimes I don't have a flow to follow until I've removed the bubbling bottleneck from my busy brain. 

Creation. Following idea generation, I work to foster the flow of writing by creating. The ideas are out there in raw form, just waiting to be developed. Like running, I start by just getting in motion. Maybe I don't see all of where this idea will take me, so I follow it until it has run its course. For me, this act of creating often brings up all kinds of connected ideas and loose ends that have yet to be tied. This is okay because the next step is...

Organization. Whether I am outlining a thought with bullet points, moving text around that I have written or subdividing sections of distinct thought, organizing helps me mold the clay of written "matter" and give it definition. 

Notation. How did I feel about that section or about my work today? What edits need to be made? Reading and reviewing followed by annotating allows me to step back and review my work. If there isn't writing done, there's nothing to review. If I don't stop to look at what I've done and observe it with some objectivity, I may not know the next steps to take when my next time block to write comes around. Notation helps me look back and look forward. 

Whether you know your process well or you're looking for one, feel free to borrow mine. I hope it's a help to you! It helps me remember to view writing as an integrative and holistic process, not only one of these elements. 

Just personal and visual icons can be reminders of who and how you want to be, focusing on the ICON of writing can keep you in line with the bigger picture and process at work. 

Write on, fellow writers! Focus on your ICON!