But now that I'm a "professional" writer, I rarely get that luxury. These days, my writing process begins with preparing a summary (synopsis) for my publisher. Once it's approved, I pound out about 2,000 words a day, five or so days a week. 2,000 words might sound like a lot, but that usually takes me under two hours. What takes a lot more time each day is getting myself in the mood to write. Usually I begin my day with house chores and errands, so I can feel like everything is in order. I have some quiet time with God. Then I re-read and edit what I wrote in the last few days. If that isn't enough to get my creative juices flowing, I might take a walk or exercise to try to let my mind wander freely to that creative space.
One unique thing about my writing process is that I never just sit and stare at a blank page. I don't believe in doing that. In fact, I "just say no" to writer's block. Occasionally I'll force myself to get some words down even if my imaginary friends aren't talking in my head that day. If after a few pages I haven't found my flow, I stop, because my writing won't be any good anyway. However, I always stay well ahead of deadlines so that I can afford to do that. In general, I find that a lack of creativity means I've hit a snag. Usually after a day or two of letting my subconscious work on things, I figure out where the story went wrong, fix it, and then I'm able to move forward again.
I don't use any fancy systems, outlines, or software to write. I don't listen to music, write on my walls, make bulletin boards, or follow any weird rituals. I usually have two Microsoft Word documents. One for notes and research, and the other which includes the manuscript, plans for upcoming scenes, and occasionally complete random scenes that come to me out of order or even just cool lines that pop into my head. I guess that means I'm pretty good at staying mentally organized. For one of my books, Dance from Deep Within, I did chart out my three protagonists journeys and how they would overlap and intertwine, but I was still pretty new to novel writing at the time.
|Dina's Writing Space|
The other aspect of my process that is a little unique is where I write. Often, I see posts about writing spaces, and the writer talks about a desk in a quiet little nook surrounded by supplies. That's not me. My writing is all about my laptop--on my lap. In fact, it wasn't until I received my first laptop that I got serious about writing. I hate sitting at a desk. Ninety-five percent of the time I write curled up on my bed. Occasionally on a couch. And sometimes when I'm really in the writing mood, I sit at the kitchen table and continue writing while cooking dinner, although that method is likely to result in culinary mishaps.
So that's my writing process. Mostly just me, my imagination, and my laptop. Any questions?