I’ve been a reader and a fan of Cait over at Paper Fury for some time, but I am just now this month deciding to join in on her Beautiful People meme, a monthly meme hosted by Cait and Sky at Further Up and Further In, in which writers answer a series of questions about their characters designed not only to let the writer get to know their characters better, but also allow readers to get to know them better. But this month is a heck of a month to jump into this with both feet, because this month, the questions aren’t about the characters…they’re about the writer.
Which, of course, is me.
Right then. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. How do you decide which project to work on?
A couple of ways. If I have any freelance projects, contest entries, or anything with a deadline, I work on those first because it’s really important to me to be punctual with deadlines. After that, it’s all about my headspace: what projects are at the forefront of my mind? What ideas are looming over me? If I don’t tackle those first, they might drive me crazy (okay, crazier than I already am).
And then there are other days when the process isn’t nearly this streamlined, and which project I work on is in direct correlation to how much coffee I’ve had.
2. How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
Definitely depends on the project! Short stories can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. Novels can take a few months to a year, and then there’s that beast called editing. Sometimes, I feel like things are never completely “finished” (I think most writers could just tweak their work a little bit here and there for eternity), but I have to learn when to decide I’ve done the best I can, take a deep breath, and let my sweet little children go out into the world.
And by sweet little children, I obviously mean writing projects.
3. Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
BLANKETS AND BEVERAGES!
Before I start writing, I have to have a blanket, and I have to get something to drink, so that I don’t have to get up for a while. I have blankets in every room of the house so that I’m ready to write no matter where I go: in my bedroom, I have my comforter; in my living room, the coolest faux fur blanket that looks like a combination of a bear and a snow leopard (whose fur I would never ACTUALLY WEAR mind you, but it’s faux, so it’s all good); and in my office, I have a fleece leopard print blanket.
And then there’s all the stacks of blankets sitting around in corners all over the house, JUST IN CASE. For blanket-related emergencies.
Once my blanket has been procured, I get a coffee, an iced coffee, an iced tea, or a big bottle of water, check my journal/planner for the day so I can see what my goal is and what I planned to work on, open my laptop, and get typing!
4. What time of day you write best?
Nighttime! The later, the better. Something about the night is just so calming to me and so much better for getting work done. The world is sleeping, everything is quiet, and I can be alone with my thoughts. I’ve had professors, acquaintances, and friends who insist that the best method is to wake up at the crack of dawn and get your writing done before anyone else wakes up, but for me, it’s much more effective to stay up late, bask in the moonlight (okay, I don’t usually literally do that…usually), and write after everyone else has gone to bed.
5. Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
I think I have a somewhat similar style to Colleen Hoover and Jamie McGuire, and I’ve been told some of my writing is similar to that of Sue Miller (who was a great influence on my work during college).
6. Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
I don’t really remember a time when I was not writing, to be honest. It’s just always been in me and has always been a part of me. Even before I learned to literally put pen to paper and write, I was always coming up with little stories. Once I learned how to write, I would make my own little storybooks made out of construction paper with the story written in crayon or marker, and would even illustrate them. This just developed and my stories and things I wrote matured with me as I matured, and then I went to college for Creative Writing, and now, here we are, I’m still writing to this day. I guess I’ve always written because I’ve always had ideas and I’ve always wanted to document them in some way.
The reason I keep writing is similar to the reason I started: it is a part of me. Writing is the one thing I am most passionate about, the thing I care about more than anything else, and the one and only constant in my life. Everything changes, but that is the one thing that never will.
7. What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?
I think the hardest thing I’ve written so far was my first novel. That first one is a bit of a hurdle. It’s like running or working out—the first time is really foreign and really difficult and everything is new territory, but then as time goes on and you do it more it becomes a process you’re a little bit more familiar with. My first novel took longer than anything else I’ve written, and it was a whole new process to me. But it felt really good to have gotten it done, and no matter what happens with that particular manuscript, it and its characters will always hold a really special, important place in my heart.
8. Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?
There are no specific projects I want to tackle someday but don’t feel ready for, but sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough time and brain power for as many projects as I would like to tackle. I have so many ideas and sometimes I feel like I can’t take them all on at once. So for me, I hope I someday am able to work on all the projects/ideas I have bouncing around in my brain. (Immortality, maybe? Giving up sleep? Cryogenics? I don’t know, I’ll work on it.)
9. What writing goals did you make for 2017, and how are they going?
One of my goals was to launch this blog, and, as you may be able to see, I accomplished that one, and am working toward growing it and making it better and better. One of my other goals was to complete the YA/NA fantasy novel I had an idea for, and I am about 100 pages into that right now. Maybe not as far as I would have liked to be, but I’ve let self-doubt get in my way a couple of times. I think now I’m ready to put that aside and push forward with it, and I hope to complete by the fall of this year, if not sooner, so I can begin the arduous editing/revising process.
10. Describe your writing process in 3 words or a GIF!
Ya know…I just always come back to this one.
So, what about everyone else? Are you participating in July’s Beautiful People meme? Do you have any other thoughts about your writing process? Share them in the comments down below! You know I’d love to talk <3