Two Phases

Wonderful, isn’t it, when something resurfaces in your life that’s really helpful to in your writing? That happened to me recently, when I came across a guide called Free Yourself to Write by Joan Minninger. It’s actually available on Amazon for a few bucks and it’s well worth the price.

Joan invites us to look at the writing process holistically — as an activity that can encompass every facet of our personality. As she puts it: “Parts of you that judge, think, and feel need to be orchestrated in a way that fosters your writing.” To be both more creative and effective, she advises dividing the writing process into two distinct phases.

Each phases uses different parts of the personality. In creating her model, Joan draws on the work of Dr. Eric Berne. His theory of personality focuses on three aspects. He labeled the part of us that judges as the Parent (P); the part that thinks as the Adult (A) and the part that feels as the Child (C). Joan maps her two phases using these aspects in an intriguing way:

Phase 1: Exploratory
The Nurturing Parent, to keep us safe while writing
The Adult, to focus our energy on our writing
The Child, “to intuit, create, charm, delve, investigate, astonish” and bring together disparate elements”

Phase 2: Crafting
The Critical Parent, to limit, evaluate, and choose the best form of expression
The Adult, to focus on both structure and content
The Adapted Child, “to be willing to forego more immediate pleasure and stay put until the work is completed

Joan warns that we shouldn’t let the “characters” in the Crafting phase to intrude into the Exploratory phase. Any thoughts on using this model?

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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2 Responses to Two Phases

  1. CrookedPage says:

    I’m not really sure how I would use her model in my writing process, how it would work. Maybe I should pick up a copy of her book and read it for myself to see if it would help. Although at the moment I’m experimenting with that Steinbeck technique and I’m kinda lovin’ it. 😉

    • Hi Ciaran,

      Thanks so much for your note — so glad the Steinbeck technique is a hit with you! I like the 2-phase model just because it gives a bit of a new angle to the revision stage of things. I’ll in the middle of this stage now with my YA novel — and it isn’t easy for me.

      Write on! Karin

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