Pascal Derrien

5 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Inside a Non Writer's Mind: ''Pascal Derrien"

Inside a Non Writer's Mind: ''Pascal Derrien"

Inside a Non Writer's Mind:''Pascal Derrien"

Why would you write a few lines in a series about Inside a Writers Mind when you begin by claiming you are not a writer :-)

Humility and lack of ego aside and despite being academically qualified in PR, Communications and Journalism I would consider myself being a fraud using the same term than the likes of Emile Zola, John Irving and other Dostoevsky. Maybe that’s just me but this introduction has no vocation to stir a debate on this so let’s settle this by saying I commit posts (at best).

I am no expert in anything but I like voicing my opinions about anything really but most and foremost I am fascinated by people and their stories be it business, sports and/or personal experiences, I sometimes speak about my own experiences too but for the most part I often use a metaphoric structure because lets be frank this is the way I function and understand the world (not very sophisticated I know).

My process

Real writers write every day I don’t but I read every day, I often say I write when I run or cycle, being fairly active and knowing I have to do something else than being in front of my keyboard I dedicate 4 to 7 hours a week to sport. Because I train mainly on my own I have a lot of time to think about stuff and that’s normally when ideas pop up , If I have been tormented by a specific topic this is also the time when I ‘’perfect’’ them from the previous run :-) it is funny to think my runs have become workshops in more than one sense. I can write one article in one month or one every week, the fact that I am doing it for non-commercial reasons gives me some great freedom in terms of cadence

The Visual and The Title

I have my little routine, when I know what I want to write about, I open a mail or a word document and I write the title, 9 times out of 10 the title I choose remains the same I rarely change it tends to unsettle me :-). The big trigger for me is the visual and I spend a bit of time sampling and trying visuals that work or at least that I think would work.

Once I got this part set, I get on with the first draft

The first draft

My first drafts consist usually in defining rough paragraphs or I just put some ‘’buzz’’ words like a bee on the screen.

Then I tend to lay a few sentences which are normally not very structured, I also identify some potential videos that I sometimes like to insert thru hyperlinks

Paul Croubablian says his style is about a Grade 13 Reading Level. I am way under that. Not being a native English speaker at least from a schooling perspective I also want to make sure I consider non-native English readers in my approach. Personally I switch off when an article is about semantic and big ‘’words’’

Half way thru the draft it looks pretty uneven, I cannot cook but I tend to let the ugly meal rest for a while, I don’t procrastinate but I continue the writing process in my head (remember the runs and cycling :-) ). I always have in mind this question about ‘’relevance’’: Is what I am saying relate-able or am I talking to myself (as I often do).

How does it look like?

Most of the time it does not look perfect and this is far from an understatement so I normally got to change a few things, I am sometimes guilty of using the same word too often so I get on with the local thesaurus and see if I can add some richness and variety to the content, sometimes it helps me building the final aspect of a sentence too.

It is starting to take form now and when I am at that stage I have to finish it no matter what. This can be very inconvenient because that surge of creativity can be lunch time, may show up in the evening or wakes up early morning. The fact is that I don’t want to allow the article to become a nemesis so I really have to get on with it.

Final Editing Pass

This where I simplify and sometimes change the flow of the paragraphs, try to spot typos, run a spell check and wreck my head about grammatical aspects. That’s also when I know I have to hit publish very soon or this is going to drive me nuts.


Before I publish I do often a test for those phone readers in mind both from a visual and reading view perspective, if I am satisfied this does match basic criteria’s then I can hit “Publish!”


It is published now and I love the engagement and comments, most of the time the comments are very very smart and I have to say I respond to all of them but gosh I am not great at commenting a comment I need to work on that

That’s it !! This is the thought process of a non-writer :-) You can commit posts too :-)

PS: This is the first post where I have picked the visual after the article was locked so go figure!!!

Photo Credits


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Louise Smith

3 years ago #12

I have the same writing style as you Lisa Gallagher unless it's academic or being assessed in some way sometimes I will edit a piece a few days later after it's published on social media This is usually because there's a layout issue but occasionally a spelling, grammar or punctuation error I may alter the text content if a comment brings new awareness or need for clearer communication of a concept I sometimes wake up at 3am with an idea & if I don't write it down it's gone the next morning

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #11

great minds alike :-)

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #10

I too like your style Pascal Derrien. I hate to admit this, but I never write drafts. I'm not sure if that makes me lazy? Like you, I do not write daily but when something hits me I have to write immediately. I will go through and do my best at editing. If I put it off until the next day, sometimes I lose my train of thought- notes don't help me. So, what you see from is is my rough first draft each time ;-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #9

thanks Gert Scholtz I hope I wont be running full circles :-)

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #8

HI Pascal. I find your writing style easy and flowing and I have read with interest a few of your posts. Keep on running if that is where the ideas come from!

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #7

Many thanks Dean Owen wow I am impressed by your comment I must say so maybe I do one or two correctly every now and again :-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #6

Thanks Pablo You guys are all way too nice to me. I have a buddha on my desk for years he is there to remind me not to take myself too seriously :-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #5

ah Franci that is me, it is because I have ran marathons that I consider myself as amarathoner I wont budge one iota on this one :-)

A non-writer! Ha! Who are you trying to kid? You are definitely a writer and a good one at that. Your articles are sincere and reader-friendly. Keep writing. 🐝

Dean Owen

5 years ago #3

I am learning a lot from you Pascal. Your articles are raw and unpretentious. I never struggle getting through a paragraph and moving on to the next. That makes you a writer in my book.

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #2

thanks Julie I wish I had something smart to say :-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #1

Paul \ :-) Pass on the bucket :-)

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