Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Writing: Behind the Scenes

no more twist:
via Pinterest

   I swiped these questions from the Behind the Scenes Writing Tag because why not? There’s nothing quite as fun as interviewing yourself.

Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?
I'll sometimes make myself a mug of tea to drink when I want to feel like a real artist. After a couple sips, I forget it until the tea is ice-cold.

When do you normally write?
I don’t have a fixed time to sit down and write (though I should). Still, most of my writing happens in the afternoon/evening. My sweet spot seems to be around 12-3ish, though I obviously don’t have much time to write then.

Where do you write?
At my desk, with my gel pens, journals, and Iwako erasers to keep me company. Plus Totoro and Herschel. They’re my unofficial good luck charms.

How often do you write a new novel?
I've been trapped in the land of false starts for a few years now. The really good ideas do tend to stick around, though, and I feel like I've grown as a writer to the point where I might actually be capable of doing them justice. It's a wonderful feeling.

Do you listen to music while you write?
Sometimes. I create playlists for most of my projects, but I don’t always want to listen to them as I’m writing.

What do you write on? Laptop or paper?
 Except for journaling and story notes (which I keep in notebooks), all of my writing goes on the computer. I type (read: hunt and peck) faster than I write by hand, and it’s easier to change things on Word, which actually helps me loosen up and write more freely.

Is there a special ritual you have before/after you write?
Before: Waste as much time as possible, then listen to a few of my favorite songs from that project’s playlist, wasting even more time.
After: Curl up in a ball and try not to cry.

What is always near the place you write?
Pens, pencils, markers, and notebooks.

Do you have a reward system for your word count?
Nope! If I could, I’d motivate myself with chocolate or ice cream, but I am poor and can’t afford gallons of ice cream. Or new pairs of pants.

Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?
I’m the queen of false starts. Most of my projects have at least one failed beginning (and sometimes even an entire failed draft) in their past. I wish that wasn’t a part of my process, but it seems like it’s here to stay.


  1. I enjoyed this peek into your writing life (and I may have to steal this tag.)
    I do want to encourage you, though, and say that I think many writers (including myself) suffer from false starts and seemingly "failed" drafts. Sometimes I get discouraged by it, but I try to keep reminding myself that each one is practice. We're exercising that writing muscle, learning just where that groove of tone, style and output is. Perhaps it will always be a haphazard struggle, but I like to think that I've grown more familiar with my muse over time and that it complies more to my wishes (ha!). At least... better than it used to... ^^

    1. Thanks--I really needed this. At the moment I have one idea in particular that I want to write very badly, but it's refusing to come together. Whenever this happens I get very discouraged, but this time I'm just going to try to let it rest for a few days, maybe a few months...hopefully while I'm working on something else it'll percolate into a more fully-formed idea. Anyway, I've been through two false starts already with this idea, and your comment was very encouraging. I try to remember that no writing, not even the failed stuff, is a waster, but sometimes it's hard.

  2. I was going to tag you for this but lo and behold, you beat me to it. :) I do the same thing with tea; it's supposed to be a favorite for writers so I always try to go for it and it's sort of enjoyable, but if I have to admit it I'd prefer coffee or even just water. But oh well.

    1. Drinking tea does feel especially writerly, for some reason. Coffee would be great, too, but I'm such a terrible multitasker that I can't write and drink at the same time. But half the fun of writing is trying to feel like an actual writer, so I always end up trying to do it anyway :)

  3. Tea! Tea is awesome. :) Also, I'm pretty sure that we have the same ritual because I am a master at wasting time, almost to the extent that I could teach a class on it. I don't want to, but it is the case of truth. But let's move on. Also, false starts sound like a total bummer... How do you get out of them when that happens?

    1. Most of my false starts happen because the idea isn't fully developed enough, or the main character has the personality of a wet dishtowel. This is helpful to know, especially if I really do love the idea and want to try to salvage it. So I try to look at false starts as blessings in disguise...which sort of works, some of the time. Mostly, I just cry.

  4. So I completely missed this post and I'm not sure why? GAH. Tea is always important -- I am in fact about to make myself a cup now. Your good luck charms are THE CUTEST. And your rituals are ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

    1. Thanks!! It's always nice to know that everyone else struggles with writing as much as I do--for some reason I keep forgetting that :)
      Totoro and Herschel were both gifts, and I decided that they'd be my good luck charms because there's no other semi-logical reason for an 18-year-old to have them. But who needs a reason, anyway?