Lots of people talk about their process… how much they love it, how much they hate it, how much they respect it. Over the course of writing a half dozen manuscripts, I’ve learned a couple of things about my own writing process and I thought I’d share…
I hate writing. Not all of the time. When the story plays out in my head like a private movie and all I have to do is capture it on the page, then it’s a beautiful thing. But when I stare at the blasted blinking cursor for minutes, hours, days at a time and all that flows out is drivel, adverbs and bad, bad dialogue, then it’s like torture. So why continue? Because when it’s good, heaven help me, it’s good.
I like to write dialogue. Pages and pages and pages of it. I’m not so good at getting inside my people’s heads though. Or their hearts. Which is important when you’re writing something character-driven that’s supposed to be full of emotion. Note to self… be more emotional. I may need to prep Mr. Crush for this. He thinks I’m already emotional enough… at least in real life.
I write best in the morning. I don’t want to be a morning writer. I want to write at night when all my kiddos are in bed and the house is quiet. But for some reason the words flow better in the a.m. Sometimes I’ll try to fight it. But things work better when I just go with it. Screw the laundry… it will be there tomorrow. And the next day… and sadly, even the day after that.
I like four letter words. Love, hugs, kiss… and then there are some other ones I seem to be fairly fond of when I write. I’ve learned to embrace it. Let them flow on the page. And hope to hell that none of my kids can crack the password protecting my folder full of profanity on my laptop.
I own the fact that people live inside my head. They talk to me at all hours of the day and night. Before you call the nut house, let me tell you that most other writers I know experience this same phenomenon. I’ll catch snippets of dialogue throughout the day. I’ll dream of a new scene and wake up and have to write it down. Doesn’t matter where I am. Inspiration strikes anywhere at any time. My muse doesn’t care if I’m at a kid’s music concert or sitting in church. She’s a temperamental bitch so I’e learned to listen to her when she speaks up and jot down some notes so I can go back later and fill in the blanks.
And the final confession… I don’t actually even have a process. Every manuscript I’ve written has come to me in a different way. Some of them come fully formed and don’t need much of an edit. Others need to be ripped apart and pieced back together before they even start to make sense. But you know what… my lack of process IS my process and I suppose I’m fine with that. As long as the words continue to flow and the people keep talking to me in my head, I think it will work out okay.