This week’s blog prompt for #MFRW is entitled Plot Away—my writing process. Right away I knew that just wasn’t going to do for me, because I had a problem with one of the words. Plot. If you’ve been around my ‘cyber home’ you’ve heard me say repeatedly about how I’m a ‘panster’ when it comes to writing. (Loosely defined as a writer who writes by the seat of their pants). This makes it hard to explain my writing process; it’s kind of a secret. Even to me.
Secrets of the Writing Process
I never skip to the end of a story. I hate spoilers and rarely re-read a book because I already know what’s going to happen. It’s the same for my writing. I’m just along for the ride and almost as eager to find out what happens, although I get many character curve balls along the way. I dream of being a writer who could do all the research, plot the whole story out, and then sit down and write, but so far, that’s not me by a long shot.
A Slave to My Muse
I rely way too heavily on my muse. Fortunately for me, my muse is usually very cooperative. In fact, it’s often impatiently waiting for me to find time to indulge it. Once I surrender myself to my muse’s control I often forget to eat, or move, for hours at a time.
Problem is, I’m often trying to get everything else done and in order to fully devote myself to my muse. Therefore, my writing process generally involves a lot of useless procrastination and then a frantic spewing of words to the page when I’m running out of time or energy.
This is my writing process during NaNoWri Month but I’ve yet to get myself to successfully incorporate it for the rest of the year.
My Hodgepodge Writing Process
- Check email—and guzzle coffee—while warming up my mind
- Change daily calendar to correct date
- Clear off area around my computer. Maybe set the relaxing mood by lighting a candle, or the diffuser
- Wonder what the weather is going to be like today—stares out window
- Observes neighbors while staring out window and hopes they don’t notice me looking like a ghastly apparition in my zombie-like trance
- Pay attention to Scruff, my writing assistant, who has since realized I was in the office and had yet to give him a treat (how rude of me)
- Check Facebook
- Throw squeaky toy (For Scruff, of course—Okay, maybe sometimes for me. He does have some cute toys.)
- Realize I’ve spent too much time on emails and Facebook
- Open up manuscript and review the last few lines I wrote
- Start writing
Behind the Scenes
I know, it might seem unrealistic that I can just sit down and start writing, but actually the hardest part is getting myself to start. By the time I do, I’ve already been mulling over the story and the characters throughout the day, and/or the night so I’m ready to get some words on the page.
Tips for Killing Procrastination
Since I’ve identified the culprit of the stealer of my words, and my writing time—procrastination. I’ve come up with methods to combat the amount of time I waste just preparing to write. Perhaps some of these tips can work for you.
- Don’t stop writing at the end of a chapter. Begin the first few lines to remember my train of thought.
- Write a little in the story every day to keep the characters fresh
- Ignore the endless tasks/chores/cleaning that need to be done—this can usually only be done for short intervals or the family will revolt