I’m afraid this is going to be a short column this month. As I type this I am zeroing in on a book deadline.
I started the book December 27.
Actually, I started the book sometime around Thanksgiving. Several false starts later, I finally had a story that sort of worked. (I say sort of because I can already spot elements I want to fix during revision.) As a result of my last minute re-do, I find myself working seven days a week to get my word count. Because I tend to draft a scene first by hand, and then type a version, it takes twice as long. By the end of this week, I will have become a crazy woman, living on coffee and snack-size Snickers bars. I’m already close to that point now.
I wish I could this is a one time crisis. Sadly, it’s not. It’s my process. Do I like my process? No effin’ way. I would give my left arm to be like my writer friends who efficiently put out daily word counts and not only finish on time, but with extra time to polish their manuscripts till they shine. Sadly, I can count the number of times I have accomplished that feat on zero fingers.
Last year I spent a lot of time talking about knowing yourself as a writer. Part of knowing yourself is knowing how you write a book.
The harder part is accepting that process. Fifteen books in and I’m still working on acceptance. I not alone in this. If I was, all those writing workshops I attend would be one on one sessions. However, I have a feeling – hell, I know – that if I can achieve acceptance, I’ll be saving myself a lot of angst. Morphing into a crazy woman a couple times a year is a lot easier if you’re not mentally berating yourself at the same time. (Unless mentally berating yourself is part of the process.)
So this month, while you’re working on goals and business plans, I want you to take a few minutes again, to think about who you are as a writer. Then, why not make embracing your process one of your goals? Because in the end, it’s the words on the paper that matter, not how the words got there.
Let's talk writing processes. How do you work? Are you a plotter or a pantser? A big word count producer or small? And above all else, have you accepted the way you write a book or would you like to change your process? Share all below.
Barbara Wallace is published with both Harlequin and Entangled Publishing. Her next book, A Millionaire for Cinderella (part of her "Dating the Boss" series) will be a June 2015 release. She's currently in her cave working on book 2, Beauty and the Brooding Billionaire which is due out in August. She is over-caffeinated at the moment, and hoping to shower before the week is out.