Whenever writers meet, either physically or virtually, it is probably inevitable that, at some point, talk will turn to "the writing process".
"The writing process" can mean different things to different people. For some, it may be almost mystical, as in the question frequently put to great writers of fiction, asking where they get their ideas from. For others, it may have an actual form, perhaps in the shape of an incomprehensible software manual, which often bears as much resemblance to a real writing process as a mobile phone user's guide does to a speaking process.
However, there is usually something missing. For how often does talk turn to "the reading process"?
It is the way in which a text is read that defines whether it is suitable, good, illuminating, or even genius. If a text cannot be read, then there is little point in writing it. And as the reader may not approach the text in the same way as the writer, the writer needs to write according to how the text is to be used, not according to how it is to be produced.
That's an easy thing to say, along with other great advice such as "know your reader". But it is the key to what works and what does not. Think "reading process", not "writing process".
This blog entry was first published at thetextbiz.com.