One thing I’ve always struggled with is when I’ve finished one book and am just starting on another. To go from knowing what point I’m trying to make to and having the words flow to suddenly sitting and staring at the computer screen is very disconcerting. It took me a while to realize that there’s a lot more to writing than putting words on paper and I should not beat myself up when I’m not typing. Here’s a little reminder of what else is involved in writing!
Thinking – Yes, I look like I’m sitting staring into space, but actually I’m imagining all the different twists and turns of what could happen if. I’m a born plotter. A funny scene or incident might trigger a creative spark, but to tell the story or who characters are, I have to think through what they will do next and how that action will affect them.
Researching – It’s one thing to visualize a scene at a country fair, it’s another thing altogether to name the rides or animals, even kinds of pie. Things have names and those names can make a difference. For example, I thought of naming this blog Dreaming My Life Away, but I was thinking of the Eddie Rabbit song which is actually DRIVING My Live Away. Different time, different genre, different feel altogether!
Taking Notes – None of this sticks if I don’t write it down. I used to write down everything I might use, but just ended up with hundreds of oddball quotes. Now I write down what I see that might work for a character in a scene. These scraps later develop into scenes.
Reading – The mind need a break now and again and reading is my go-to escape. It also lets me hear words in my head, building familiarity, reviewing and renewing my feel for the language so it becomes mine to command again. Sometimes, I get the same effect from music or videos, but not usually from TV.
Organizing – When it comes to the internet promotion, on-going maintenance is key. Have I cross-listed my titles or updated multiple sites with latest award/announcements? Are all the links still working? Also, it’s not killing time when you surf the internet if you’re learning more about key players and trends in the industry.
Where do you spend your time when you’re “not working?”