What is My Writing Process and Why Do You Care?

 

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 Raymond Bolton, fantasy author of AWAKENING, asked me to participate in a writing process blog tour with several other writers. I met Raymond through Melissa Foster’s FOSTERING SUCCESS marketing program at The World Literary Cafe. Raymond is one of the most supportive fellow author friends I have.

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Why do you care about my writing process?

Maybe you don’t, but if you’re here it’s probably because you’re a writer too, and writers learn from other writers. We help each other because writing is such an ALONE sport, er, profession. Sometimes it feels as competitive as a sport but it shouldn’t. I try to look at authors as friends and colleagues whom I can help and vise-versa.

Below are the questions I’m supposed to answer for this tour. Hopefully you’ll learn something from my process and feel inspired by my answers. Feel free to visit Raymond’s page too to learn more about him.

1) What am I working on?

I juggle and work on several things at one time.  Right now I’m writing a mid-grade novel about Wily, a geeky 12-year-old who has to save the canine race.

I’m also working on my children’s chapter book series about Eclair, a seven-year-old girl who has to live with her eccentric grandma. I want to launch the first three books in the series this year so I’ve been working with an illustrator on getting the first one done.

In March, I have time slotted to work with an editor on my YA series about WILLOW. I wrote this book five (or more) years ago but haven’t published it yet.

I’m also working on the audio version of CACHE a PREDATOR. I’ll be posting about that whole experience soon. It’s very exciting with live auditions, sound affects, and music.

I recently hired Rob Bliss Creative to begin working on my book trailer for SCATTERED LINKS.

Rob’s bio: He’s a Washington Times columnist, director, and a professional speaker. Prior to starting Rob Bliss Creative, he had been creating experiential marketing events in Grand Rapids, MI that gained national attention for the past five years. 

Perhaps you’ve seen Rob’s HOMELESS You Tube video that went viral recently and has had close to 17 MILLION hits. If you haven’t seen it, take a look below. I hired Rob because I love his work and know that he’ll help readers feel the emotion of Oksana’s story. (Yes, it helps that his grandma and my mom were sisters too.)

Before Rob could begin the video process, I had to create the script, find a teen Russian voice, and share my ideas with him about film and music. But I didn’t want to squelch his creativity because that’s what I’m paying him for–his creativity. Hopefully I haven’t boxed him in. I can’t wait to see and hear the final product–coming after February 25, 2014.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Just like my blog, I’m a bit RANDOM with the genres I write. I tend to be influenced by adults and children, but it’s the stories that glue me, the ones that inspire me. My suspense novel is a bit different (so I’m told) than other thrillers because it deals with a social theme–child abuse and how abuse affects everyone around the victim. It also has a geocaching theme which some readers aren’t familiar with.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Great question. I’m not sure. Lol. I know, I should know, right? Sometimes I pray and ask God to tell me what to write. I don’t always hear his answers, but I try to listen. I have so many stories to write and publish that I usually work on what I feel like that day. I love being in charge of my fun. And it’s all fun!

4) How does your writing process work?

In the morning, typically between 6:30 – 9:00 I check my email, twitter, FB, Amazon rankings, Goodreads ratings, sales numbers, and sometimes Pinterest and LinkedIn. In other words, I stall on the “real” writing. I often walk my dogs during this time too–typically about 40 minutes.

From 9:00 – 12:00 I try to turn off my wi-fi and plot or write. Sometimes it’s posts for my blog here. Other times I’m working with an editor on rewrites. And NOT ENOUGH I’m working on new words, new stories where I try to write a certain amount every day. But right now I’m mostly working on editing.

EXERCISE – I typically try to find time for this every day. I play tennis 2-3 times a week.

1:00 – 5:00 I write and edit more, but typically this is the time I spend on marketing and publicity. I like to reward my writing efforts. So I tell myself I can’t work on marketing or social media until my word count is done for the day. 1500 or more words a day is good for me, but when I’m on a roll I can squeak out 5000 or 6000 words.

6:00 – 9:00 — I surf the web for articles on writing, reviewers, encourage other writers at FB or re-tweet other articles and thank people for following me.

9:00 – 10:00 I read. Sometimes I stay up until 11:00 if I love what I’m reading.

How has this helped you?

I hope I’ve shown you that writing isn’t easy, that writing is a full time job for me and getting the words down doesn’t just happen without a goal.

What’s your writing process like? 

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Comments

  1. Obviously, Michelle, you are more diligent writer than I am. I understand all about word count and routines and I dream about the day I can write full time. Outside of your obvious talent, these are some of the reasons you’ve become such a successful author.

    Thanks for joining me on this tour.

    • Thanks for inviting me on the tour, Raymond.
      It’s not that I’m a more diligent writer, it’s just that I’m blessed to have the opportunity, and the luxury, to write full time. I realize some authors aren’t that lucky and try not to take it for granted.

      M

  2. You’re hard work has really paid off! I’m amazed at all that you do to pursue your passion. Cheering you on!

    • Michelle! How have you been? The kids? Your stories? I’ve lost touch with you. I want updates. You, my favorite brainstormer, plot developer, and writer-friend–I have missed! (Did you see that I published LINKS – about the Russian orphan? I’d love to send you a copy to read if you’re up for it. Do you have a Kindle? Nook? iPad? Don’t you have a sis-in-law that has foster children or adopted children? Maybe she’d like to read it too?)

      I saw you did a blog post for Pat but I never made it over there. Ugh! (I’m so happy for her!) Where does the time go? I’m trying to LIVE IN THE MOMENT and appreciate my life right now, but yet there are so many people (you are one) that I want to stay in touch with.

      Where are you in the publishing process? What are you working on? I need to visit your blog.

      Hugs and thanks for dropping me a line. Please let me know if you want a copy of LINKS.
      XO

  3. Great routine, Michelle! Mine is similar except for the walking the dogs and exercise bit right now. But as soon as my knees get better…

    • Thanks, Pat! What’s wrong with your knee? Did you get a knee replacement? (I live in the city where we manufacture hips, knees, and shoulders, so I know all about those.) I hope whatever it is that it mends quickly. That’s no fun!
      M

  4. Hay,
    This is a no-brainier, actually. Since writers can just publish their work anytime they want to, the market is now flooded with self-published books and it can be difficult to make your work get noticed. This can be a prejudice against you as well. There are people who think self-published books are inferior to those released by major publishing companies. Fortunately, a lot of self-published works are proving to be decent, which should be good for the business.

Please share your random thoughts.

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