Your Writing System
If you know me, there is a running theme that fascinates me, those who are so talented, they pursue two passions very successfully. Many have heard me write about Tony Bennett, but today I would like to share another person who was instrumental in my writing and painting. He is a man I’ve never met, his name is Richard Skelton, known to the world as Red.
In his lifetime, he wrote 8,000 songs, 64 symphonies, 4,000 short stories, as well as multiple books. He was an artist as well as a writer, earning roughly 2.5 million a year from his lithographs. At the time of his death, his paintings were selling for 80,000 apiece. Red was also a radio, television, and movie star with a star on the walk of fame, an Emmy, and a life time achievement awards from the Screen Actor’s Guild.
A number of his musical compositions were sold to businesses for background music. That may not sound impressive, until you consider how profitable this was. Red found a way to use his passions, for no one can write that much unless they enjoy it, to bring a return. It inspires me, because writing is one of my passions.
A second passion, while I love art, is to help others to write. That’s the purpose for this article, to encourage you to write your own story. There is a possibility you desire to write, not 4,000 stories, but one idea. If one man can write 4,000 short stories, and do all these other things, there is time for you to tell your story.
I believe that the majority of people have something you are passionate about. My thinking is, if you believe it’s valuable then don’t you have a duty to write it down? Maybe you haven’t started yet, or maybe you’ve tried, and faced obstacles.
I understand about the obstacles. For the thirty some odd books I have written on Amazon, I have ideas that didn’t work, and so did Red, but he had a system. Basically he would write a story idea down daily, at the end of the week, he would review, choosing the best handful to continue developing.
While my system is different than Red’s, I do have a system. If it’s a single idea I add it to my writing reminders list digitally, or as a note. On the same digital notebook I develop the idea more until it’s big enough to move to my writing software where I have a project system. Once the rough draft is complete, and the rewriting and multiple draft process is finished, I move it to publishing.
Because I have this system in place, it allows me to work on multiple projects. If I face a block concerning one idea, I don’t throw it out, and I don’t blunt force it. I will work on something else, and then I can return to the other topic later with fresh eyes. I am currently actively working on four projects, and have thirteen in my writing list.
Some ideas may be blog posts, campaigns, ebooks, or hardback books, I don’t always know at this stage. I do know that they are further along because there is a process to move them along. Think of the system as the vehicle to transport your story. There are a number of different methods writers use, and not every process works for every writer.
However, if you don’t have a process, you can learn a lot from viewing other writer’s framework. If you would like to know more about writing process, progress, and project systems, our website PruittWrites.com has several resources, as does our book Writing In Real Time: A Guide For Writers With Busy Lives.