I’ve been asked by one of my readers to explain what process I have when I sit down to write. So here is my routine, plain and simple: First, I do about ten jumping jacks to get my blood flowing. Second, I recite the ABC’s backwards to get my brain ready and alert. After I paint my nails and swim a few laps around the pool, I’m ready to write a novel.
Of course I’m joking, but the truth is: I really don’t have a routine!
With every novel or story I write it is always different. Sometimes I have notes in a notebook or on a Word document that I look through to refresh my memory and/or get the ideas flowing once again. Sometimes I sit down and know exactly what I want to write. Sometimes I sit down and have to think. Sometimes I simply start writing and see where it takes me. If I’m not getting anywhere with my thinking or writing, I’ll either take a break or stop writing for the day. I don’t want to write unimportant gibberish—that’s boring to me and my readers.
The greatest way to combat writer’s block is to sit down and write, but sometimes I don’t heed my own advice. Sometimes I need to have ideas before I can start writing anything. Like I said previously, it all depends on how much thought I’ve given the story or how far along I am in it. Everything is subject to change.
I don’t usually make outlines. I do make notes with bullet points about characters, places, conflicts, even experts of scenes that come to my mind (or else I’ll forget everything!), but never a detailed, step-by-step guide to how I’m going to write the next chapter. Sometimes I’ll have an idea as to what the chapter should be about so I’ll write a few sentences on it and then go from there (I wish I did that more often, it worked really well when writingPsychokinesis), but more often than not I just go with whatever my brain tells me at that moment. I go back and fix things later—that’s the key. Don’t re-read anything right away or you’ll overthink it or miss something. Just write and write and then go back and edit. Writing more than you use is better than not writing enough.
Overall, my writing process is simple and un-extraordinary. I don’t know how other authors write, but I’d rather not know. I like my routine and it’s worked so far—different strategies appeal to different people. Also, no time restraints or limits. Writing is an art and shouldn’t have a deadline. Never rush anything—never take too long to write anything. Find a happy medium, that’s what I do. I never say “Okay, I have one hour to complete three chapters.” That will stress me out and if I’m not feeling creative or motivated that day, those chapters will be garbage.
Thanks for the question, Joe. I hope this blog post gives everyone the desired insight to my writing process!