What is a typical writing day like for you?
No day is ever the same, and my schedule changes depending on where I am in the story. Currently I’m in a deep research phase, which means my time is filled with reading, painting characters and locations, and making notes. It’s typical for me to be up around 5:30 a.m. I exercise, browse over three newspapers, check my social media platforms, write and edit blog posts, and then bury myself in reading.
The writing of books kind of morphs into its own animal – it’s not like I suddenly think, “Oh, I’m going to start writing this baby, today!” The actual writing of the story happens organically, and I’ve found it normally begins with a poem. I’m not one to document my word count, purely because my focus is on quality, not quantity. I may spend an entire day working on one paragraph, and the next day I write pages. The book is done when the story is told, regardless of word count.
When I’m immersed in a plot-point or character arc, I tend to just go with the flow. I need absolute quiet to write, which means that if my husband is at the other end of our house recording music, I shut the door to my office, close the blinds and put in earplugs. I get food when I’m hungry, coffee when needed, and surface once the voices of my characters have faded along with my ability to concentrate.
When it’s time to hand over the manuscript to my editor, I move forward with other relevant publishing needs: book cover, synopsis, and publicity. Once the edits start coming in, I’m glued to my computer until every word has been scrutinized, rewrites completed and sent back for copy edits. I have a wonderful editor who calls me on everything – no letter left unedited!