Saturday, September 1, 2007

That Crazy Writing Process!

Okay, since so many kids are either back to school or going back very soon, I thought this would be a good time to shed some light on the process of writing.

*sips coffee* My routine is pretty set. I’m the type of person who needs a schedule or I get off track, then pretty soon I’m lollygagging. I wake up every morning at 6am. The first thing I do is roll my lazy butt out of bed and nudge my oldest daughter awake. I get her breakfast, then I’m off to the dark, dreary laundry room to iron my husband’s work clothes while he showers. The kitten plays with the dangling ironing cord and usually by the time I’m finished with his shirt, I’m smiling over her silly antics. Once the clothes are pressed, I take them to him and push my daughter off the couch so she can start the hour long process of making herself more beautiful than she already is. The number one rule in my house: get everything (clothes, shoes, bookbag) ready the night before! This way we aren’t scrambling around searching for things. Usually, by the time the dogs have been let out to potty and the coffee is on, I’m able to get myself dressed and now I’m allowed to kick up the computer. I check email while I’m making lunches. Once my daughter is ready, lunches are done, and my husband is out the door (with a kiss and a smack on the ass, lol) I take my oldest to school. Once I’m back from that it’s usually about 7:30am and I have a few minutes to answer some emails and eat cereal.

Then I wake my second daughter at 8am. The routine starts all over again. After I get her to school, I can really start my day. I write from about 9:30am until 1:30pm with the T.V. on in the background. I can’t do anything when it’s dead silent. Drives me nuts. Comes from growing up in a rowdy family I think. Noise to me says ‘comfort’.

At 1:30 I’m forced to stop, save whatever I’ve managed to work on, get myself ready, let the dogs out again to potty, and go pick up my kids. The rest of the day is spent doing homework, chores, errands, etc. I’m lucky to get back to the computer after the kids are home. Usually we’re too busy with...stuff. at around 4:30 my husband calls and we chat on the phone for awhile (he’s got a long boring ride home, so that’s usually our time to catch up on each other’s day).

From 6:30pm on, it’s dinner, showers, getting ready for the next day, then whatever show we can’t live without. Weekends for me are a hit or miss. Sometimes, I can get some writing done, or at least some editing. Most times, if I get to the computer on the weekends, I’m updating my website or playing with graphics. Banners, backgrounds, that sort of thing is my way of unwinding.

How many pages do I get written a day? I’m not really sure. I don’t adhere to a strict number. It can be anywhere from getting 5 pages, to 20pages. Depends on how fast the story is coming to me. Some days I spend more time researching. As an erotic romance author my research can be pretty...wild. The most eye-opening research ever done is without a doubt the 60k story I wrote “Lavish Me” which has some pretty naughty scenes. That story was both fun and shocking to research. *snickers*

*sucks down the rest of the coffee* So fellow authors, what’s your process? Do you adhere to a certain number of words/pages a day? Do you just let the story come to you whenever? Do you write during the day or are you more creative at night? Tell me, because inquiring minds wanna know!

14 comments:

Cindy K. Green said...

Hey Anne,
I wish I had such a schedule! I write when I can steal a moment. I homeschool my oldest so I never really have free time during the day without interruptions. Since I now have my own office, I do find myself coming in here in the evenings and when everyone else is asleep. I can work until 2 am and still be up by 7 in the morning to start the day all over again.

Cindy

Carol Ericson said...

Hi Anne,

Just as crazy over here! In fact, it's so crazy, I don't have a set schedule for writing. There's just too much going on. I have a full-time job, a husband (although I have to say I haven't ironed in years!), and two boys, who play a lot of sports. Let's just say I'm not looking forward to school starting this week along with soccer season. However, I do write every day. I belong to an online goals group, so they keep me honest. I try to write at least 20 pages a week, and if I'm really cranking on a story, I'll write more. I do most of my writing at night after my kids go to bed. So I'll write in a silent house from about 9:30 to midnight. I write on weekends whenever I can - between soccer games, errands, housework (very little of that going on in my house!). With two releases coming out in Dec., The Stranger and I, from Harlequin Intrigue and Virgin of the Amazon in Secrets Volume 21, I'm also gearing up to do some book signings in Dec. and Jan. Even more craziness to a crazy schedule (and even less housework!).

Anne Rainey said...

Cindy,

I feel for you. I can't imagine homeschooling. It'd be pretty tough to do that and write. Still, I do wish I had an office. My computer is right here in the living room/kitchen area. So, no privacy to be had! LOL

Carol,
I'm such an introvert, the very idea of book signings terrify me! LOL Strange person, aren't I? :-)

Jen said...

And sometimes between 9:30 and 1:30 you get a call from me and that pretty much disturbs your writing time, huh? ; -) Oh well, it's good to take a laugh break from time to time.

Anne Rainey said...

Jen!

Yes, I do get a laugh break from time to time--Thank God!--I'd go insane otherwise. LOL

Desirée Lee said...

My writing process is the "fly by the seat of my pants" method. When the muse strikes, I write. No matter where I am, I write.

If I am at home, it's on the computer. Sometimes I will take the laptop to bed with me and sit up in bed and write.

If I am not at home, I have a cell phone with a little keyboard on it that I think was intended for writing emails or text messages, but I write in the notepad and save the notes, then transcribe them later when I get home.

I keep my digital voice recorder around me too for times when I can't use the cell or computer. Then I can dictate ideas or bits of what I want to write and transcribe it later when I get to the computer.

If all that fails, there's a notepad in my purse to jot things down on so I don't forget them.

Sometimes I wish I had a set schedule but I know my muse would not adhere to it. If I tried to sit down and write at an appointed time every day, I'd sit there and stare at a blank screen most likely.

--Des

Kelley Nyrae said...

I don't have a set schedule. I usually try and write while my toddler is taking her nap. Its pretty hard when she's awake.

Cynthia Eden said...

Hi, Anne! I write a minimum of ten pages a day, everyday (no weekend or holiday breaks when I'm on deadline). If I get more than ten, that's bonus, but I don't sleep until I get those ten. :-) I realized after my son Jack was born (he's about 20 months old now), that I was going to have to use the daily page goal method--or else I just wasn't going to get my writing done.

So, yeah, sometimes I miss out on some sleep--but it's worth it.

Anne Rainey said...

Des,
I can understand how you feel. Though even if I am staring at a blank screen, I find that eventually things start flowing and soon I've got something. Even if it's rough--which it usually is at first, lol.

Kelley,
I cannot imagine writing with a toddler around. I remember when mine were that little and they required all mom's attn. at that age. whew!

Cynthia!
Thanks for stopping by. :-) You've given me something to think about here. I may start to do this as well. I can see how that'd be a good method.

:-)

Judith Rochelle said...

I found I absolutely had to have some kind of structure or I was all over the place and ended up with 5 WIPs. Ugh! So first comes the coffe, then an hour to check email and get my promo stuff for the day together, and figure out where I left of writing the last time. *snorts8 I take a two hour break for breakfast with my hubby, also known as the Wolf in the bedroom, because he needs his time just for him. More coffee. I write from noon until anywhere from 4-6, depending on if my fingers are ready to call off or not. Night time is just for watching TV with the Wolf, although I do keep a nottebook and diagram ideas for plots as they come to me (diagram? plots? how obsessive can you get. My english professors would bwe proud of me. But when all is said and done, it starts in the shower - that's where I get my ideas.

Dara Edmondson said...

I try for a structure now that my kids are back in school, but I don't always adhere. Life gets in the way, but I try to write something or work on edits every day.

Anne Rainey said...

Judith,

Thanks for stopping by! I've just recently discovered that I enjoy doing a rough outline ahead of time. Never did it that way before, but it does keep my focused.

Dara,
I'm like that too. A structure is easier when the kids are in school and I do like to write something everyday. Keeps the story fresh. Even though that doesn't always happen. Life tends to interfer! :-)

Terra Kent said...

Wonderful post Anne I usually try to write during the morning hours but sometimes the creative muse won't cooperate and makes for some late nights LOL

Sandra Ferguson said...

Even though mine are old enough to stay out of my hair -- having been trained almost from birth to not mess with mom when she has headsets on -- I still love the kids back in school.

It's the silence I like. The ability to pace around my office, talk aloud (when I'm stuck), pace into the kitchen or even to the back porch. Whatever I need to find the perfect dialogue or next scene description. The minute there are other folks in your space, it's disrupting.

Honestly, I'm a better mom when my kids come home because I've had that quiet time to get my work done.