Emerge Unstoppable in 2011!

Emerge Unstoppable in 2011! That's my mission this year. Join me as I blog about life during divorce, raising a three year old, and the fight to live one's dream of being a writer, a graphic designer, a prayerfully a success at it all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ABCs for New Writers - "L" is for Love Your Process

For some of us our relationship with our creativity is of the love/hate persuasion. I for one often have bursts of creative flow and other times my river runs dry. It’s not writer’s block per se; that’s a whole different animal. This is that sinking feeling like you can’t lift your hefty rear off the couch to create anything, not even a quiche, that would appeal to an audience; least of all your very best friend. The feeling is horrible and leaves your wheels spinning. Idea after idea comes into your brain and just as quickly as they pop in, they poop out.

My Love Letter to My Process,
"Sweetheart, thinking of you keeps me up at night!"
Yes friends, creativity can be a fickle lover. But I have found that if you have a process, a method to your creative madness, you can accomplish more by loving it.

Just like a sprouting tomato plant in early spring, if you nurture it, tomatoes will come. Same with your process, if you care for it, play it music, weed the weaker ideas out of your fertile creative field, nourish it with encouragement, entertainment, and education (sounds like another post); your little creativity seedling will grow into a creative process that by enjoyment, not habit, will yield fists full of well written pages.

My process changes from project to project. I wear many hats in my life and my career, so defining a beginning and end point, like the trained project manager I am, is how I get started. Defining a start and finish, as I said, differs by project. Since we are talking in this context about writing, let’s take a work of romantic women’s fiction. This is on the outset a work of eighty to one-hundred thousand words. Aside from drawing character sketches, and plotting, and research I know that I can work and hour to an hour and a half a day and will typically average 1,500 words in that timeframe. My starting point is doing the math – using today as my start date I figure how many days it will take to write the minimum, in this case 53.3 days, and I draw a darling caricature on my calendar on the block for August 8th that depicts me doing the happy dance. Then, I get to work.

After defining a project frame, which gives me a goal, a deadline I am driven to meet, I write the first scene. I write longhand at first just to get the initial idea on paper and the juices flowing. Once I get a feel for where I’m heading with the story, and who the characters may be, I do the leg work – definition, research, plotting. I schedule interviews with SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) who can help me with the things I know nothing about like the differences in being a circuit court judge in 1950 versus present day. All the while I write.

As a new writer, have you developed your process yet? Have you tried two or three different ideas but nothing seems to fit? Let me know and maybe I can turn you onto trying something new.

Until next time, I remain Unstoppable.


  1. Hi Lindy,
    I'm not a new writer, but it seems my prob. is I've never set a pattern. I just sit down and write - some times. I think I'll plan on setting a number of words and see how that works. Thanks

  2. Thanks for stopping by Maxine. I've always found that having a goal with that very special end date spurs me to the finish line. I hope it helps you to. Blessings. - Lindy

  3. Having goals definitely helps. I have a yearly target that I try my best to accomplish. It neatly breaks down for me how many pages I'll have to accomplish each day of the yr to reach that goal. As I record each day's progress, it adjusts.

    Let's just say that state-to-state moves wreaks havoc with my plans, but I keep plugging away.

  4. Oh Carol. I can only imagine how a difficult, state-to-state move like that can create chaos. Life does happen. It happened to me and now I'm trying hard to put my writing back into top priority position. I want my goofy drawing on the calendar! Stay positive and your schedule will work itself out. Thanks for your comments and support. - Lindy

  5. Hi Lindy!

    Like the others, I'm not a new writer. BUT I am continuously changing my pattern. I started being a pantser, moved to a plotter, use a spreadsheet, create character profiles, etc, etc...

    Lots of good info here. AWESOME page count goal and I'm excited that you keep it. Oh, I have a spreadsheet that I got from an author that breaks all this down. You only have to put the page amount or word amount, your daily writing goals or when you want to have it completed. Then it tallies how many days you have or how much you need to write each day. When you log it, if you are over or under, it calculates that too.

    Let me know if you are interested and I'll hunt down the author's link for you. I just started using the spreadsheet and it has really kept me focused on the end product.


  6. Hey Tami! Thanks for your comments and support.

    I have to wonder if there are any writers out there who have kept the same patterns for years? Or even for the same book. tony Robbins says flexibility is key to one's success. I tend to agree.

    As for the spreadsheet, please don't hunt it down but if you come across the link, please think of me. I like anything that makes my job more efficient.

    Thanks again,

  7. Finding the process that works for you is one of the most important things a writer can do. We're all different.

    Thanks for stopping by Under the Tiki Hut and commenting.

  8. That's so true Carol. We are all different. I love that about us! Thank you for joining me here at UnstoppableStart. I hope to see you soon. - Lindy