I've been thinking about plotting, about how writers approach a new book. If you've been reading my blog at all, then you know I'm not a 100% plotter, nor am I a 100% panster (writing by the seat of your pants). I'm whatever feels right, whatever my book wants me to be. Sometimes, I use notecards, sometimes an outline, and sometimes nothing at all but some vague scenes in my head, a few scribbled notes, and a set-up. And sometimes not even that.
So with that in mind, and a recent conversation I had with a young writer about how to approach your story, and how this particular writer was blocked, wanted to start out the right way, and aim for a very defined market, I will say what I said to him: "Get out of your own way." Sometimes (and I've done this, too, believe me) a writer can get so worried over how he thinks something should be approached or written, that he often finds himself stuck before he even begins. It can be overwhelming, especially when you want to do it right -- to write a great book and have it fit that niche you're aiming for.
There is no right way to write a book! Yes, obviously, there are elements required to make a book a book, but I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about The Process of writing. How you do it is a choice, it's whatever feels right. Plot one chapter, and free write another -- it's whatever works for you and the particular story you're telling. It's okay to have your own unique writing process whether it's seriously quirky or pretty standard. Some writers find a pattern that always works for them. Some, like me, find that with each story the process is different.
So, just get out of your own way. Don't worry about a right or wrong writing process. Do what feels right, and just write!