So I was tagged with a meme – #MyWritingProcess – that’s been making the rounds. I like this one and it came to me from a writer I admire, Julie Christine Johnson at Chalk The Sun, and as you may have noticed I could use a push to blog more frequently, so I’m in. Trace this meme back in time starting with Julie’s blog. It’s intriguing and somehow reassuring. How it works is that the tag-ees, if they wish, respond to the four questions below in a blog post, link back to the tag-er, in this case me, and pass the meme along to three other writer-bloggers.
Here goes ~ ~
What am I working on?
I am still working on my second novel. Earlier this year I did a complete rewrite/organize/edit and retyped the entire thing. I have just over 50k words and many sticky notes reminding me of inconsistencies to address and pieces of the story that are missing. I hope to have at least 70k words soon. I am going to have the manuscript evaluated professionally and have an appointment with an agent to pitch this novel at a writers conference in July. So you can see there is a time factor here, which is good because without a deadline I tend to become unmoored, easily frightened, and unproductive.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Aside from my tendency to bristle when people talk about genre I don’t really pay any attention to it. I am not interested in slotting myself or my work into any category other than ‘really good writer’ and ‘beautifully written’, respectively. Talking about genre feels like learning lingo and I hate lingo as much because it excludes those not using it as it boils language down to a very few, usually ill-chosen, words. Homogenization of a language is unforgivable in a writer. Paying attention to genre is a way of limiting what you learn which is the very opposite of what reading should do for us. Forget categories. Read everything. I write fiction. Last night I read two poems I wrote at a poetry reading. A year from now I hope to be writing even better fiction. And essays. I might take a whack at that, too.
Why do I write what I do?
I didn’t know it was up to me. I have a friend, the poet Mary Jane Dickerson, (hear her read here) who once said, “I always wanted to write fiction, but it kept coming out as poetry.” I think that is beautiful. I write what I write because that is what the muse/daemon/the dead in the corners of my study and my mind tell me to write. When I resist them, I write crap, so I am very nice to them, most days.
How does my writing process work?
Oh gosh. First I just want to say that it would be much better if I didn’t have to eat, sleep, or bathe and I could just keep working. Especially bathing – why does that take so long? Anyway.
For me a successful writing day is all about my morning. I have blogged about this challenge here and here. I get up early in the morning to take my dog outside and feed her. Then most days I get coffee and go upstairs to my study by six thirty. I review the day’s expectations in my bullet journal, check my email but do not yet respond, and might check to see if anyone noticed me on Twitter.
I take a look at what I wrote yesterday and find my place in the work. Then I sit and rock and drink coffee and wait to see who else has shown up and what I feel like writing now. Sometimes I can dive right in to something fresh and sometimes I have to choose the smaller assignments from my sticky note board and ease my way into things. I write new material most frequently by hand, but lately with the manuscript needing little bits here and there I will find a spot in my draft that needs addressing and add a few lines or paragraphs. At the best of times I lose myself utterly in the writing and it flows along without my being cognizant of anything around me or even of myself. The writing is better when it’s like that.
Around ten-thirty or so I take my dog for a walk, make tea, take a shower, do a few chores. If I am not otherwise committed for the afternoon then I return to my study after lunch and reply to email, read blogs, do research for my novel, and research things like making a good pitch, how to write a query, what literary journals might be appropriate for my work, etc.
At some point I will return to my work to see if I have anything else to say today. Sometimes this results in a burst of creative energy and I will get more writing done. I usually wrap up by writing in my journal.
And in all of this time I am thinking about the writing and what I am working on and how it can be great and how to write my way from here to there.
Thanks, Julie, this was fun. What’s not to like about yakking about ourselves, right? My chosen bloggers are below. Gang — all you have to do is address the four questions above in a blog post. Oh, yeah, and mention me.
Thank you for reading and meme tag you’re it ~
Confessions of a Grandma
So You Want to be a Writer?
Presents of Mind
© Margaret Grant and magoffleash, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.