|My Love Letter to My Process,|
"Sweetheart, thinking of you keeps me up at night!"
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.