Thursday, June 26, 2008

Redefining my writing process

I wasn't happy about this prospect.  See, my normal writing process consisted of writing the rough draft, and all subsequent drafts, on my laptop, while sitting on my leather couch (so soft and cushy) and resting my feet comfortably on the coffee table.  I wrote from 10a.m. to about 3:30p.m while my daughter was in school.  

Fast forward to new baby being born, daughter on summer break, and selling two novels to Pocket Books.  One of which, is not even completed.  The above process no longer worked.  I tried.  Stubbornly tried.  And I finally realized it had to change.  I had to change my habits.

It's been a rough two weeks, but I'm finally becoming comfortable with this new process.  I've gone old school, people.  Notebook.  Pencils, with electric sharpener on hand if possible.  Sometimes, I still get to sit on the couch, other times, it's at the park, at the pool, or in bed.  I must be mobile.  And the laptop just doesn't cut it.  Yesterday, for instance, I wrote two pages during the baby's morning nap, one page while kids were playing on the floor and then six pages after bedtime.  My goal is at least five pages a day, but I always try for ten.  Somedays I make it, some days I don't, but I don't feel guilty because at least I got in those five.  I will not go to bed unless I have those five.  Once the ms. is done, I plan to work nap times and nights to type it all into the PC, and to get in my first edit while I type. 

I hated changing.  I'm a creature of habit.  I sat on that same couch with a laptop and wrote all seven of my novels.  (Yeah, I know, I'm long overdue for a new couch!)  This will be the first one I've written by hand.  I may not have a hand left by the time I'm done.  But I know of a few authors who write this way (Gena Showalter comes to mind) and are able to get quite a bit of work done.  And, I actually think I'm writing more than before.  No internet to distract me.  No email to check at insane intervals.  So . . .   Here's to new things!


Anonymous said...

I hear you, Kelly. Having a little one makes everything a challenge. I had to switch to writing at nights to get stuff done (along with the day job, 2 kids, sleep, a wife, etc.).

Good luck!

Tia Nevitt said...

Try writing in your notebook by day and transcribing into your computer whenever you have time. I think you'll find yourself editing and revising as you transcribe. It will save you some time.

Anonymous said...

Write bigger, then you'll always meet your page goal! ;) More seriously though, best of luck with the changes!

I'm so proud of you! I've been telling all of my friends to buy your book when it comes out.

Keli Gwyn said...

Kudos on your flexibility. I can't imagine writing with a baby and another young child, but you're forging ahead in spite of the challenges. You go, girl.

Congrats again on your sale.

K. said...

I'm thinking of getting an Alpha Smart. I like the fact that it runs on regular batteries, it's small and portable, and I can't use to to get online. I'm also tempted to get it since you can plug it into your PC and it automatically downloads your words. No typing in 90,000 + words.

Tia Nevitt said...

OMG! That is so cool! I SO want one!

Tia Nevitt said...

I'm not usually an impulse purchaser, but I just purchased the Neo. And yes, I'll be doing a review on at least my writing blog, and probably Fantasy Debut as well. I have an autistic daughter. She has absolutely no problem with me reading novels, but gets all clingy whenever I'm on the computer. Up till now, my solution has been to either use a notebook (which she also has no problem with), or write after her bedtime.

I also noticed that they have a version with predictive writing technology. I can see getting her this one day, especially if writing turns out to be her best way to communicate.

Thanks so much for pointing it out!

K. said...

LOL. That was fast, Tia! The Neo is the one I'd pick, too. I'll be interested to see what you think (unless I break down and get one in the meantime). And that idea of possibly using it for your daughter -- brilliant. I'm gonna pass that idea along to a friend of mine. Definitely something to think about for the future.

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

I know what you mean about change, but sometimes you just gotta do it, huh? :)

It's good to hear that the new process is working for you. I used to write every book in a notebook, but decided to change to the computer about 5 years ago. Although, I make sure I use my laptop because it doesn't have an internet connection. That's always a good thing. Lol.

And Kelly, I sit on the couch with my laptop, too. :D