After 20 years in PR I decided it was time to...just write. Now, I am a published, award-winning author, developmental book editor, author mentor and partner publisher (www.ocpublishing.ca). I post thoughts on my writer's journey and share my experiences as an author, editor and publisher and highlight the books of authors I am publishing. I welcome guest bloggers and do author interviews. Enjoy my blog and feel free to comment.
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Writing Process? What Writing Process?
Ah, the ever elusive 'writing process'. I've been a writer for years but as an author I’m a fairly new having
published my first book in 2011 and two more since. Over the past three years I’ve been happily writing away, working towards my dreams of being a famous novelist, and feel pretty good about a strong ‘author voice’ that seems to be developing. The more you write the closer you get to finding the voice that’s uniquely yours, pulling bits and pieces from those you admire and drawing from your own experiences and mental meanderings. I think the same goes for landing on a writing process that works for you. However, I’m having a slightly more difficult time nailing that down.
I read a blog a while ago that talked about famous writers’
writing processes. I found it fascinating as I struggle to find one that works
for me day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year. I did a search
to see if I could find that particular blog again so I could at least give a
‘shout out’ and came across dozens more. So, as the Internet is wont to do, it led me down many a garden path, where I tried to get into the headspace of a few famous writers to
see if there might be an effective process that spoke to me that I could adopt.
I found some real gems in James Clears’ blog post, “The Daily Routines
of 12 Famous Writers and how they can Help you Succeed.”
How do Famous Writers do it?
In his blog, James includes a quote from Haruki Murakami where Murakami shares that the repetition of a daily
routine, with no variations, is his secret. Up at 4 a.m., write for six hours,
go for a run, swim, read, listen to music and then to bed. Sounds like a great day
to me… other than the God-awful start time.
Kurt Vonnegut gets up almost as early and does push ups and
sit-ups. I like to start my day with an hour of yoga so I can sort of relate to
Maya Angelou rented a hotel room in her hometown, paid for it
monthly and wrote there every day from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Barbara Kingsolver (whose book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I’m
reading now and loving!) gets up at 4 a.m. too. I get that for her since she
lives on a farm... gotta collect those eggs! Oh, and she says she likes to get in
a few hours before the kids get up. I just have a cat who takes up half my desk
but is happy for me to be writing all day long.
Is there a trend?
I’m seeing some similarities here, are you? Early risers, a little exercise
and solid writing time and routine (every day!).
I found one night owl in BrainPickings’ article (where James found some of his examples) “The Daily
Routines of Famous Writers.” The writer notes that Jack Kerouac is quoted as
saying, “I had a ritual once of lighting a candle and writing by its light and
blowing it out when I was done for the night… and also kneeling and praying
Khaled Hosseini says, “You have to write whether you feel like it
or not.” I think he’s right but I’m much better at doing that when I’m under
deadline. As an indie author, I set my own deadlines, which I’ve found to be
quite moveable… especially when I have the excuse that client work comes first!
Then, I came across some great advice in an Aerogramme Writers’ Studio
article, “23 Tips from Famous Writers for New and Emerging Authors." Canadian
author, Tara Moss says, “Give yourself the mental freedom to enjoy the process,
because the process of writing is a long one. Be wary of ‘writing rules’ and
advice. Do it your way.”
What is my way?
I do write every day but I could use a little more structure. Each
morning I tend to look at what’s on my plate and based on how I’m feeling,
choose which project to tackle first. It’s worked all right so far, but it does
encourage procrastination (one of my biggest flaws) and has meant that my next novel has taken much
longer to finish. But, it's almost done! Honest...
As we approach launch day for Lynda Faye Schmidt's novel, The Healing , a women's fiction/family drama based on the author's life, we're excited to announce the blog tour schedule and introduce you to the bloggers and book reviewers who have joined the tour. The tour begins on launch day, April 23rd. Take a look, follow these bloggers and make sure you visit on the tour dates indicated (check back regularly for updates): Pre-Tour - March 2 - Thrive Global - pre-launch announcement April 16 - Fit for Joy - pre-launch podcast interview with Lynda April 23 - IndieView - author Q&A with Lynda April 24 - Canadian Bookworm - featuring a guest blog by Lynda, "What Inspired Me" April 26 - Dartmouth Book Exchange - author spotlight April 29 - Storybook Reviews - review May 4 - Help Me Sara - podcast interview May 13 - My Question Life - review and author interview June 30 - Reader's Favorite - review Date TBD - Maryse's Book Blog - review Date
Too many adverbs and clichés in your writing? I've got just the fix for you. by Jessica Bell Writers constantly have rules thrown at them left, right, and center. Show, don’t tell! Stop using so many dialogue tags! More sensory detail! More tension! Speed up the pace! Yada yada yada ... it can become overwhelming, yes? I used to feel overwhelmed by it all too. In fact, I still do sometimes. It’s hard enough to get the words on the page, let alone consider how to put them there. In Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird , she says that in order not to be overwhelmed, a writer needs to focus on short assignments. She refers to the one-inch picture frame on her desk and how that little picture frame reminds her to focus on bite-sized pieces of the whole story. Basically, if you focus on one small thing at a time, the story will eventually come together to create a whole. I believe the same applies to learning the craft of writing. If writers focus on one aspect of the craft at a time, t
I'm flattered to have received a Super Swe-e-e-e-t Award from Jeanette Anderson http://jeanettesandersen.blogspot.com/ on September 20 (sorry for the delay in getting this up Jeanette but it is greatly appreciated)! Her mission is to make people laugh, cry, shout, smile, frown and just enjoy reading so check out her blog and see if it works! The Guidelines: So, once I accept this award, the guidelines state that: First: I must thank the person who nominated me... of course, that's the proper thing to do! Thanks Jeanette! Second: Answer the Super Sweet Questions (that follow below). Third: Nominate a baker's dozen (13) to receive this award (if you can't find 13 that's okay... just find as many as you can). “Super Sweet” Questions: 1. Cookies or Cake? Cookies. Especially my mother-in-law's special oatmeal cookies! Even tastier when eaten at the cottage. 2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla, with lots of fresh berries. 3. What is your fa