I have mentioned my writing secret in past posts.
Keep a writing journal.
When I first started keeping a writing journal, it felt a little forced. And sometimes, I resented it. (Wasn't my internal editor enough?) But over the years, I can't think of anything more important to my process. My journal has served me well--often during my lowest moments--because there are many things I do over and over again.
I rewrite my first page anywhere between 40 and 140 times before I can write further.
At page 70, I am sure that my novel is dead. (so long, novel)
I don't know what to write. ??????
But in my journal, I've done this before. If I take a week off, generally, the next page comes.
ALSO: Deleting is necessary.
Really, all my secrets are in my journal.
Because with each new project, I need to remind myself what I learned in the past. In my journal, I also keep things like:
memories (including the memory map)
reminders (like READ something today, Sarah, or TAKE A BREAK)
photographs and images that inspire me (See old post on Daughters of Edward Darley Boit)
writing slogans (Show, don't tell/act like a director/trust your voice/what happens next?)
Keeping a journal won't write the book for you, but it helps you anticipate some of the steps in YOUR personal writing process.