Instead of publishing in 5-steps, he said the real world journey may circulate a dozen times among the steps back-and-forth before the process is complete.

Photo credit: marsupium photography on Best Running / CC BY-SA
Musing what Leo da V would do triggers a meandering tour through unconnected feelings, thoughts, ideas, memories and fragments of story ideas.

I’m cursed.  

I find it very difficult to stay focused.  

And, to follow a linear process when it comes to writing.

You know the sequence “they” teach.

  1. Prewrite
  2. Draft
  3. Revise
  4. Edit
  5. Publish

Matt Renwick in his blog, “Reading by Example” made me feel it was OK for me to skip around.

Photo credit: marsupium photography on Best Running / CC BY-SA

Instead of publishing in 5-steps, he said the real world journey may circulate a dozen times among the steps back-and-forth before the process is complete.

On a good day, here’s my path.

  1. Prewrite,
  2. Draft,
  3. Revise,
  4. Draft,
  5. Revise,
  6. Draft,
  7. Revise,
  8. Prewrite,
  9. Draft,
  10. Edit,
  11. Revise,
  12. Publish,
  13. Revise,
  14. Edit, and finally
  15. Publish.

If That, Then This … 

Do you need to take classes or earn certificates before you can write? 

No says Helen Jackson in an article from The Writing Cooperative. 

But, then how do you get started?

Helen recommends journaling.  

Photo credit: r.nial.bradshaw on Best Running / CC BY

I began journaling long-hand in spiral notebooks years ago and noticed how life passed through my pages.

It was exhilarating.

It became an obsession.

It became so important that I forced myself to walk away for breaks.

I had become addicted to forgetting to live my life unless I took the time – hours – to write-up a memorable 15-minute experience. 

Today I’m happy to say my journaling is confined to answering one question.

What would Leo da V do?

Not Michelangelo, but Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo kept stunning notebooks which revealed his wide-ranging scientific, artistic and human anatomy curiosities.

Walter Isaacson wrote about Leonardo’s genius, but didn’t gloss over how, due to his unrestrained creative inquiry during the Renaissance, Leonardo left many sponsored projects unfinished.

Musing what Leo da V would do triggers a meandering tour through unconnected feelings, thoughts, ideas, memories and fragments of story ideas.

Or what might be called my Prewrite.

“What would Leo da V do? Relish what the interviews reveal in Judd Apatow’s book, “Sick in the Head”. Like Marc Maron’s WTF podcast interviews, these are people who are in their 40s and 50s who are established in their careers – Gen-X – and reveal what it’s like to keep going, be creative, take newer risks, reflect on what’s going on around them now.”

If That, Then This …

Helen says, “Anything that comes to mind that you don’t want to forget — note it down. Sometimes re-reading your ideas can trigger another idea and it just snowballs from there.”

Leo led to a couple of surprises.

“Two organizing principles – Legacy and Taxes.”

The taxes symbolized a reminder that it is that time of year.

And, working on those taxes points out a need for making money – different business models to explore.

Legacy reminds me I need to return to my tagline – “How to Live, Love, Work, Play, Invest and Leave a Legacy” – and flesh out what it’s like to keep going and developing in the latter phases of artistic lives.

If That, Then This …

I may be cursed.

But, I’m also lucky enough that I recently took time off to trace Leonardo’s footsteps in Italy.