My Writing Process – May 2018

Novel Word Count: 11,108

I’m always interested in other people’s writing routines/processes. It’s like I’m hoping that someone will have figured out some secret to make writing easier. Also, knowing how other people get their writing done makes me feel better about my own process.  Here’s what it looks like most days:

  1. I wake up early. Somewhere in between 4 and 6am. I would rather not wake up quite this early, but my job has established my schedule. I am a morning person for the most part, anyway. I usually don’t write when I have work at 7am, but if I’m up at 4 I might plop down a few hundred words.
  2. I have to get coffee and breakfast before I write. I don’t write well groggy or on an empty stomach. I also like to get out of my pajamas and get some real clothes on.
  3. Sometimes I can get right down to writing, especially if I have been thinking about the next scene a lot. Most of the time I need to free write. I pull up a Google Doc and word vomit whatever’s on my mind. Its usually stuff that’s bothering me, only a paragraph or two. Anything I need to get down so I don’t think about it while I’m writing.
  4. My last two writing sessions I’ve started listening to low-fi hip-hop. I write longer and I feel a little more focused. It’s cool when the song playing fits the tone of the scene I’m writing. I’ve heard of some writers who like to listen to music with lyrics while they work; that’s much too distracting for me.
  5. I stop working when the writing becomes tedious, which has been somewhere between 900 and 1,200 words most days. If I have to work an eight hour shift, it’s more like 500. I like to read what I just wrote, and I inevitably end up going back a bit further, adding and deleting words here and there. When I can’t stand to look at the page anymore I record my word count and start and end times into a spreadsheet. If I miss a day of writing I fill the date cell in red, so it looks horrible and makes me feel guilty. 😉

Today was a good day, I didn’t have to work, wrote about 1,300 words, and I might write a little more before the day is done. I’m considering not recording my end times, as I’m getting a little down about my words per hour average. What really matters to me is that I write the best stuff I can, not that I write as many words as possible within a time limit.

I’m still doubting myself everyday, but also more excited about what I’m writing everyday.