For the most part, this wonderful hobby/passion of mine is relatively unencumbered by gadgets and stuff. I can write just about anywhere, I can ruminate on dialog or plot points at any time. I have so much freedom to be able to think creatively that it allows my mind to really develop a fun story.
I have started to narrow down by ritual over the past few years. Each writer has their very specific process. While they can write anywhere they tend to find one place that helps them clear their mind and create. They often develop a set pattern to help themselves “get in the zone” when writing.
I am often asked in interviews what my process is for writing and creating. Below is that process (as it exists now) and the ritual I’ve created so far:
When I was writing my first two manuscripts (the unpublished duo), I was writing from an unhealthy place. I just wanted to write the books so I could prove something to myself or people that doubted me. I eat junk food and candy and generally wasn’t in a healthy frame of mind. (This inspired some of the character Karla, in The Games You Cannot Win.) It showed through in my work.
Once I started to embrace a healthier lifestyle and decided to eat food that would fuel my body, I noticed that my creativity was able to flourish.
Saturday Morning Runs
Since I still have a day-job to support my writing habit, I get most of my uninterrupted writing done on the weekends. I get to write all throughout the week but it is usually bits and pieces at a time or simply just editing and reviewing what I had created the previous weekend.
The weekends are my time to really focus on what needs to get done as far as wrapping up a chapter or giving a character the story that they need. I tend to do a long run on Saturday (or Sunday) and follow that up with some meditation and a shower before I am ready to write.
Usually, I think of what I need to get written on the run and I can work through dialog and how to keep the reader engaged in the story. I love the feeling of accomplishment after the run. I feel like I have already done something pretty big so it takes the pressure off of how much writing I need to get done.
This goes back to the first section, but I can’t stress enough how important water is to my routine. It’s what my body needs to run properly and in turn, it helps me to have a clear mind. There is often a stereotype that good authors drink too much or abuse substances. I don’t think that needs to be true and is something that shouldn’t be idolized.
I like to be warm and comfy when I write. I usually curl up on the couch and drape a blanket over me so that I will be warm. I am always cold and having a soft blanket on my lap helps me to relax. When my body is relaxed, my mind is relaxed and I can work on my latest book without any issues.
Yes, I need music to write. On very rare occasions do I require silence. I typically build a playlist of songs that will help me get into the mindset of the character I am working on, or that will help me get inspired by the story. I think to myself, “if my book were made into a movie, what would the soundtrack be?” It’s a fun exercise and helps me to dive into the world of my book.
You can check out all of the playlists for my published works here.
Yes, I write on the couch and not at a desk. I spend most of the week sitting at a desk for my day job. While I try to focus on my posture, it still isn’t great. For writing, I prop up pillows behind my back and find a soft and comfortable position that I can sit in for a few hours without feeling any pain. Inevitably, my neck does start to hurt. This happens when I read a lot too. Even after a lifetime of reading, I haven’t found the perfect posture that will allow me to read for a long time without getting a crick in my neck. After I finish my writing and reading for the day I usually set up our neck warmer and let it ease my muscles.
What is your writing routine? Do you have any funny or quirky habits that help you get ready to write?