I asked my fellow MissD authors what the hardest and/or most unusual things they do as part of their writing process. Here’s what they had to say.
Paula: I’ve tried everything: writing early in the morning, writing late at night, writing at home, writing in coffee shops, writing on the laptop, writing longhand in pretty notebooks, dictating using my Rev app, writing indoors and outside and sober and caffeinated and slightly tipsy. What works when nothing else does: Yoga. I do a creativity flow and by savasana the words are leaping about in my brain, desperate to get out. Namaste!
Tracee: I don’t have a good answer for the most unusual part. I will say the hardest thing I’ve done is conquer my own (non-writing) mental distractions in order to rework a manuscript. Unfortunately it wasn’t a quick process and so not one I’d recommend. Maybe I should have tried something unusual….. like working ONLY on a lounge raft in a swimming pool? While tricky that might have at least been fun.
Connie: I probably need to try some unusual things. Please send a list! Seriously, the hardest thing was my first actual deadline—turning in the manuscript for Book 2 of the Kate Hamilton Mystery series. The difficult part was pushing send. I’m a compulsive reviser. My favorite thing in all the world is polishing language so the rhythms sing (at least to me!). I’ve been known to recast a sentence in one pass-through; then put it back in the next. Sigh.
Susan: This is my post-it scene planner for the novel I’m working on now. It helps me visualize how often which characters are showing up, and I love moving everything around. (Not sure what the dog treat is doing on the table, but perhaps that represents a plot twist.)
Robin: The hardest thing I’ve had to do is wait. I’m great with deadlines – I do some of my best work under pressure. But waiting for responses or feedback? There’s probably a life lesson in there for me because I’m terrible at that part.
Michele: I don’t why, but I found it difficult to give myself permission to write “en plein.” Once I did, I knew it was right for me. To be outdoors, breathing fresh air and feeling the sun on my back while I write is truly liberating. Paula writes about taking your writing outdoors in one of her fab writing books.Unfortunately, I’m not sure which one at the moment.Maybe she can remind us. Photo attached of my writing spot in St. John, which unfortunately Hurricane Irma demolished. But I have found new spots. Mother Nature is very generous!
Laurie: For me, every season has been different on what works for me. Sometimes I often need to get out in public because I need the energy of people around, yet no one requires anything of me. At home, I can get tired too easily or be tempted to do things around the apartment like empty the dishwasher. Other times, the coffee shops don’t work and home with a cat “helping” me is best. When I have trouble with a scene or writing in general, I usually do something creative that’s NOT writing related, and something enjoyable. You know how you get good ideas in the shower, at a lecture, or just walking around leisurely? Or you go to bed with a problem and wake up with a solution? There’s a science to it and it’s because your executive functions are turned off, you’re comfortable and happy, and then your brain starts to sizzle with your subconscious working. So I walk along the East River, go to a museum for an hour, break out some art supplies and paint or play with clay, play the piano for a while, do yoga like Paula mentioned… It’s always refreshing and gets the ideas flowing.