Today is ‘My Writing Process,‘ blog tour day, when writers post about their writing process. Last week, the inspired Wendy Robertson, posted hers. Thank you Wendy for inviting me on your Writing Process blog tour. Click here for Wendy’s Post
Q. What am I working on?
I’m currently in the final stages of completing and publishing my book on writing, From Writing With Love. This is a book I’ve been wanting to write for some time now, so I’m delighted to already have published it on Kindle, just this weekend, and I’m now continuing with the Create Space process of producing the hard copy. From Writing With Love is a book that’s really close to my heart. I suppose it’s the teacher in me that won’t go away, still wanting the buzz I get from helping and inspiring others.
What I’ve tried to do within it’s pages are chart my own writing journey in ways which I hope will resonate with both would- be writers and more experienced writers. It’s the story of how I fell in love with writing, how a writer can find her voice and how I came dangerously close to falling out of love after rejections and disappointments. In it I offer new ways of defining and achieving success in our writing and of believing in ourselves. I talk about going Indie. I’ve also included everything I’ve learned along the way: all the craft, all the things I wish I’d known better at the outset, everything I’ve learned about writing short stories and novels.
This coming week I will finally get back to some fresh writing. I’ve recently written one or two darker stories and they seem to have led me to begin exploring connections with fairy tales. I’m very excited by this and by the prospect of new creative work.
Q. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’m not very comfortable with the idea of putting writing into boxes. I don’t think of myself as writing in any particular genre. I write what I want to write, whatever project most appeals, this includes poetry which is on the back burner just now but which I know I want to explore much more fully in the future. The good thing about working in this way is that each thing I do influences the next, across genre boundaries. So for instance when I wrote my crime novel Blood Tide I learned so much about pace and constructing plot that I can take into a new novel with me.
Q. Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do because of who I am. I’m drawn to writing about the lives of people living on the margins and I think this reflects my long years of working in a women’s prison. As do the darker elements in my work
My writing is often inspired by place. I am always excited by new a landscape and when I was growing up my happiest times were out of doors, in the countryside or by the sea. I spent my childhood in a very watery place and I find when I’m writing, water often flows onto the page, as does a love of the natural world, especially birds, and gardens too.
Q How does your writing process work?
I’m not strict about writing every day but I write most days, mostly because I can’t resist it. I write the majority of my first drafts in notebooks and I like to get out to cafes or bars to do this. I often do the really creative stuff out of the house and then come back to transcribe onto the machine. When I’m writing short stories I try to stay loose with ideas and not over think them in the early stages. I try to live with characters for a while, let them settle into my head and I try not to anticipate the story ahead. So when I come to write the story it’s a journey of discovery for me as I have no idea where it will end.
I also draft my novels in a notebook first. For me once you get onto a machine it’s too tempting to start editing too early. The same with poetry. I keep this in the notebook for as long as possible and do even more drafting in the notebook before I risk the screen.
I spend a lot of time editing, what writer doesn’t? I enjoy it. I always think at this stage the hard work’s been done and now is the time to hone and polish and then leave it (for as long as possible) and then come back to it, and hone and polish again each time making it better. After all I think our goal must always be to produce the best writing we can. If we do this then I think we have achieved a measure of success.
Next week, on the 3rd February, the blog-baton passes to Judith Marshall. Judith is a poet and creative writing coach from Richmond, North Yorkshire. Judith alternates between fantasy and poetry, and is currently experimenting with a fusion of the two genres. You can find her blog HERE
Also on Feb 3rd I hope to share with you pictures of my real/virtual (it’s a bit of both) launch of From Writing With Love