As a writer taking a rather unique path, I often receive a wide range of questions. So far, I’ve covered some broad topics which you can find here and I’ll continue to shed some light on further questions. With luck, you’ll gain some understanding and insight along the way.
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, feel free to comment or drop me an email.
What is your artistic process? Does anything impede that?
My artistic process varies depending on what I set out to do. But mostly, it’s a delicate balance between ritual, creativity, and technical skill.
First and foremost, however, I start with a ritual. Always beginning with coffee or another hot drink of choice. And while I’m firing up my machine to brew, I’ll start up my playlist to a section that best fits the task at hand.
With my steaming cup of goodness in hand, I sit down and just listen to the music for a few minutes. It’s almost like a meditation.
Once my mind is clear, it signifies that the creativity is ready to come out in full force.
If I’m going to work on writing, I reread the last chapter I completed, much like hitting the rewind button on a movie for a quick recap. This helps me settle back into the story, and into my narrator’s head.
Then, since I have the plot outlined — steps A-Z, beginning to end — I know where I need to go. And as I’m seeing the events unfolding like a movie, all I’m doing is transcribing everything I can.
My poetry and prose is somewhat similar, except I’m isolating events and packing as much emotion and life into the words as I can.
If I’m editing, I still search for the right mindset of following along with a movie, because it’s important I don’t lose those critical attributes like pacing, but at the same time, I’m looking at the draft with a critical eye, zeroing in on plot holes, continuity slip ups — like a character walking or standing still, or just issues with grammar and flow.
However, I do want to note that when it comes to my fiction, I don’t mix writing with editing. If I’m working on the first draft of a manuscript, I won’t open a draft to start rereading or editing. I like to keep my concentration on one timeline so I don’t end up confusing things.
Though I may switch to creating other things like book covers, or just stop altogether due to some other limitations, I try to give myself the flexibility to do so without berating myself or feeling like I’m neglecting anything.
The biggest impediments to my processes, however, is self-doubt. It could be that I’m going slower than usual because I can’t quite visualize something or transcribe it right, or I run into a wall where I begin to question a decision or an action. And then intrusive thoughts start to pop up like weeds in a garden.
That’s a terrible idea. No one’s going to like that.
Or: You might as well stop now, that thing is dead weight and you know it.
I often have to remind myself that hiccups do happen and that whatever the problem is, I’ll find a way to fix it.
If I let those overgrown thoughts blossom in that garden, it’ll take me that much longer to clean things up, stop beating myself up, and get back to what matters.
Coming up, I’ll discuss how long I spend writing on a day and walk you through my writing day routine.
Until next time,
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