I think while I’m working on my next book, Darkness Follows, and trying to make some time to prepare promotions/marketing for my soon-to-release book, Darlington Woods, most of my posts will have to do with that.
I get a lot of questions about the writing process, how it goes, how it happens, how long things take, how a story develops, frustrations I experience, and so on and so on. This will be a good arrangement for addressing some of those issues.
The large majority of my writing time comes in the morning. I have a schedule I stick to pretty tightly. My alarm goes off at 4:58 am. I hit the snooze button once, nine minutes later the alarm sounds again. Jen elbows me. I hit the snooze again. Nine minues later same thing. It’s now 5:16 so I throw back the covers and drag myself out of bed. I hear the dog’s nails clicking on the hardwood floor downstairs. She’s heard me stirring and is getting excited about her morning potty run.
Five minutes later I’m turning the computer on while donning my coat. I take Josie, our black Lab, outside, tell her to hurry up because it’s cold and I’m getting snow in slippers, then hurry her back inside, coaxing her with the promise of food. After feeding Josie her breakfast I get my own, usually a granola bar and glass of “Green Goodness” which tastes like sweetened grass . . . but it’s oh so good for me.
For the next twenty or so minutes I check and answer email and get my schedule for the work day ready to roll.
By now it’s usually between 5:45 and 6:00 and I’m finally ready to write. There’s no sitting and staring at the screen. I know where I want to go because I’ve been thinking about the next scene and how it’s going to play out. The writing comes naturally, it flows, the words, the sentences, the thoughts, the dialogue. Only a few times do I have to stop and think about how I want to say something or what the next thought will contain. I’m in the groove, like a bobsledder (or “slider”), executing his or her run almost perfectly.
While writing I’m always conscious of the time. If I did this writing thing full time I wouldn’t be, I would lose myself in the story and time would be meaningless. But I have a job to get to and I have to start getting ready by 6:45. So as the time nears I start typing faster because I’m not ready to end the scene yet.
Then it happens. 6:45 arrives and I have to stop, mid-scene, mid-thought, mid-inspiration. Aghhhh! I hate when that happens. Everything has to be put on hold until the next morning. I feel like I’ve been served a delicious meal of shrimp scampi only to have it ripped from my table mid-way through. Wait, I’m not done! This is one of the most frustrating things about being a “part-time” writer. The writing has to be squeezed into real life.
I wonder at times what it would be like to do this full-time and not have to worry about such things, not have to watch the clock while I write, not have to put my inspiration on hold and hope it’s still there waiting for me the next morning.
Tomorrow morning we’ll do it again and hope I can get through a full scene before the clock strikes 6:45 and the magic is lost.