Your Writing Process
Welcome to my new blog series! In these posts, I plan to share what I've learned about writing in hopes that it will be useful to anyone who shares this crazy writing dream. I'm calling this series: "Stuff I've Learned."
I know, I know, it's not the most original name. Kind of like naming your cat Fluffy... which I did. Twice. (In my defense, I was three years old when I named the first cat, and the second cat was named in the first one's honor.)
Anyway, to start things off... If I had to pick the one most important thing I've learned in the last six years as a writer, it would be: label your leftover pizza with the date you ordered it so that you don't accidentally eat too-old pizza.
Second to that, though, is: learn your own writing process.
Stuff I've Learned: Learn Your Writing Process
Before I was published, I had no idea about one of the coolest perks of being a writer: meeting other writers. At bookstore signings, conferences, conventions, festivals, library events... I've met a lot of authors, and I love, love, LOVE hearing about their writing processes.
Everyone's process is different. Some write a little every day; some binge-write for a few weeks then lie fallow. Some write in long stretches of time; some write in short bursts. Some outline; some don't. Some revise as they go along; some do lots of drafts. Some write at home; some write in cafes. Some write standing up. Some write nude... Okay, I haven't personally met anyone who writes nude but there are anecdotes.
Point is: what works for one person might not work for another. You have to find what works best for you and disregard the rest.
Once you do, I promise that it gets easier. Not easy. But easier. You can write faster and be more efficient because you know what works for you and what doesn't. You can do the latter and avoid the former.
I consider myself living proof of this. It took me two years each to write my first two novels, Into the Wild and Ice. The next few novels took one year a piece. Now I'm writing a novel every six months.
This change isn't due to having more time to write. (In fact, the opposite is true.) It's due to figuring out how I write a novel. Not how Joe or Sue or Fred writes a novel, but how I personally write a novel.
In future posts, I'll talk about (amongst other things!) what specifically works for me. And I'd love to hear about what works for you!