Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Writing Process

As a full-time writer, I get many people asking me what is my process to creating a book. I usually laugh at that question. Not because it's funny; simply because there's nothing mystical or magical about the creative process. I don't have candles lit or music playing in the background. I will say that more often than not I'm in my pajamas and robe drinking a cup of green tea with my lap desk and laptop. Then I just write. Sometimes in silence, othertimes with the TV on low.

If my muse is visiting, then it's a great writing day. I can easily get a few thousand words written. Those are the days I boast on FB or Twitter that I've written 3,000 or more words.

I like to write when I don't feel the pressure of a deadline. Having deadlines isn't the problem. It's the procrastination leading up to the deadline that becomes a problem. When my publisher gives me a date to have my next book turned in, the date seems so far away. So instead of writing a little every day, I slack off, thinking I have plenty of time to get it done. Pretty soon, one year becomes six months, six months becomes three months, three months becomes a few weeks, and I still have 55,000 words to write. Pressure. And with pressure comes a little thing called writer's block.

Writer's block always seems to come at the most inopportune times, causing more stress than a little bit. Insomnia is often a result. Staying up half the night wouldn't be so bad, if the creative juices were flowing. Since halting the creative flow is writer's block's job, it becomes frustrating to say the least.

The next question would be how do I overcome writer's block? After many sleepless nights and feelings of anxiety, I force myself to write something...anything. Most of the time it's a slow start, but it's a start. If I'm still having problems, I start talking to my characters, hoping and praying that they talk back to me. At some point, they talk back.

Although I'm elated when my characters talk to me, they tend to change the story quite a bit from the original concept, making my pitch to my editor obsolete. My synopsis almost always has to be changed. Nonetheless, the book gets written, and I celebrate with a sparkly drink. Cheers!

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