Two ways to write: with your gut or with your head

An amazing comment from Charley Daveler on my post How to Write a Book:

You can tackle a book in two ways: with your gut or with your head. Most authors flip flop back and forth constantly, though they tend to favor one over the other. If you want to write with your gut, i.e. by instinct/from inspiration, disregard the idea of “should” and just go for it. This technique has its negatives as well as benefits, but the most important thing to remember is that even if it’s terrible, keep going; you can always fix it later.

If you want to work from the head, i.e. using logic, which you might considering the intellectual subject matter, then first ask yourself your goals, which you’ve already done to some extent. Start developing a specific vision (though it does not need to be fully formed to start), ask yourself how you want your readers to feel, and what you want them to take away from the read.

Read the whole comment here.


One Response to “Two ways to write: with your gut or with your head”

  1. Sean Crawford

    I do essays. Like “most authors” I too “flip flop constantly” but I do much less ever since I attended, in Calgary, a world class weekend When Words Collide. There prolific fiction writer Kevin Anderson, the Star Wars guy, told us that he does not mix the two brains. When he composes he is all right brain. He does this in the morning then does his editing and marketing, left brain, in the afternoon.
    I try (unsuccessfully) to do all right brain (gut, intuition) when I compose because my left brain (head) is so dominant that I will lose the little creative whispers if I am not really trying to just create.
    Part of my problem, besides being so logical, is that I am very energized by editing: I could fix my own work for hours!


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