The writer Andre Dubus (House of Sand and Fog) has described writing as inching your way along a very dark, very long tunnel: you can make out the next few feet in front of you, but you’re not quite certain where you’ll end up or when you’ll get there.
What helps with the uncertainty and enormity of the task is to start with some kind of process to guide the way.
Process? Ew. I know.
Process is one of those things that in many parts of life I consider hopelessly boring and mind-numbing. Like alphabetizing canned goods. Or peeling beets.
But in writing, process is necessary, because you need a kind of road map to get you to where you need to be.
So here’s an infographic based on the 12-step writing GPS I outline in more detail in Everybody Writes. This GPS gets you from one place to another: from discombobulated thoughts to a coherent, cogent piece of writing that others can grok (and maybe love).
My friends at Visual.ly created this for me—or, I suppose, they created it for you (technically).
If you don’t know it, Visual.ly is like a Netflix for creative services: Its designers, journalists, writers, editors, animators and developers collaborate virtually with you to create the awesome, on demand.
Feel free to print, download, embed, chew on, wrap yourself in, or otherwise use this infographic—in whatever way you’d find most useful.
(Objects on this page can be larger than they appear. Just click the image to see a larger version. Or visit the Visual.ly page.)
Want to embed this infographic on your own site or blog?
Grab the WordPress code:
<div class='visually_embed'><iframe width='1' height='1' style='width: 1px !important; height: 1px !important; position: absolute;left: -100px !important;' src='https://visual.ly/track.php?q=https://visual.ly/community/infographic/how/ann-handleys-writing-gps&slug=communityinfographichowann-handleys-writing-gps'></iframe><a href="https://visual.ly/community/infographic/how/ann-handleys-writing-gps/?utm_source=visually_embed"><img class='visually_embed_infographic' src='https://visual.ly/node/image/221223?_w=540' alt='Ann Handley's Writing GPS' /></a><div class='visually_embed_cycle'></div><p> From <a href='https://visual.ly?utm_source=content-embed&utm_medium=embed'>Visually</a>.</p></div>
Or grab the non-Wordpress code: