Behind the Scenes of My Writing Day

I don’t know about you, but I love the “behind the scenes” of a movie. It’s fascinating to me to know what went on to make the movie what it was, the makeup, the hair, the props.

I have five of the six movie books for The Hobbit.  And while I was disappointed with the movies, I still love the books, reading what it took to make costumes, the landscape, and best of all, weapons.

Fun fact. Did you know they used yak hair to make the dwarves wigs? Yak hair is stiff and was the consistency they wanted for the dwarves’ hair.

Today, I’m going to give you a behind the scenes look of my writing day — what goes on to make my day successful, and hopefully, productive.  

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When do you write?

I usually write in the early morning, about eight to ten o’clock. That is when I’m most alert, energized and ready to pound on my keys.  I can write at night, but by then I’m tired and my writing is not nearly as good — I usually end up erasing it all the next day!

Here is my desk, every square inch covered in writing books. And yes, Rey (my cat), is usually there. I’ve learned to work around her and though she’s always usually in the way, I actually find I write better when she’s around. #mybaby

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I rarely write anywhere else other than my room. It stays too hot in the south to write outside, and my house too noisy to write in the living room. 

 

Paper or computer?

I must admit, I love the idea of writing a book in a journal. The idea of having my story between the covers of a journal is thrilling, but alas, not for me. I know Nadine did it for her upcoming novel, Fawkes, and I found that so cool.

Character sheets, summaries, my synopsis (you, know, all that good stuff) I write on paper,  my actual story I  type on my computer.

Usually while typing, an idea pops into my head, which I frantically write on the first scrap of paper I come across. This has resulted in dozens of small scraps of paper in my story binder, but there is organization in the chaos.

 

Is there a special ritual you have before you write?

YES! I always (get it? always) take a smell of my House of the Wise candle from In the Wick of Time. Ravenclaw is my house and it’s bookish and writerly and all things me.

 

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Food or drink?

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Coffee is definitely a must, and when I sit down to write, l like to have a cup of my favorite flavor, Folgers Simply Vanilla, **whispers, it’s all natural, nothing artificial.** 

Then I pour that vanilla goodness into my favorite coffee cup. 

 

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As far as actual food, I rarely eat a snack while I write. Not only does Rey try to eat it, but eating distracts me from actually writing. And then my fingers get dirty which gets on the keyboards, so yeah, I don’t eat. On the rare occasion I do, I usually eat Lay’s Poppables Honey BBQ Chips.

 

20180516_101231.jpgI’m insanely happy with how this picture turned out.

After a good writing day, I do reward myself with pizza. Or seafood gumbo. But since pizza is cheaper, it’s usually pizza.

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Music?

Sometimes the only music I listen to is Rey’s theme on repeat. Other times it’s a mixture of these beauties, the best of best soundtracks. I hope one day to add the Maleficent soundtrack to this collection, because that movie had some awesome music.

 

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Sometimes I even blast Taylor Swift. *runs and hides* Sometimes it’s just a Taylor Swift kind of day and she helps me focus on my writing. You’ve heard writers are weird, I’m living proof.

 

What is near the place you write?

Besides my writing books and binder, there is distraction in the form of Pinterest. Pinterest is the bane of my existence. I need my story board open to help me write, but having it open is also, as we say down here, giving the devil a foothold.

I’m addicted to Pinterest and love having boards for everything under the sun and making it aesthetically pretty. If I let time get away from me, I can spend hours on it. **epic fail.**

I wonder if the creators of Pinterest knew this way back when and sat around the table laughing through their teeth. Yes, I am a strange person.

I try to also keep my finished novels in sight, so when I get discouraged, I can see them and say, “it can be done, just push a little harder.” And, you know, close Pinterest. 

 

 

**disclaimer. My books are NOT published. I just had LuLu print them for me. Check out Katie Grace’s post on how to do that here.

So there you go. That’s what goes on behind the scenes of writing my book. So how about you? Any special process you do? Anything you eat? Let’s chat in the comments. 

write on, rebecca

 

3 Things I’ve Learned From Writing

Writing is hard. Trying to churn out words to form a plot, characters, and other worlds is draining. It’s not as easy as some think. Doesn’t it just annoy you when people say things like, “You just write don’t you? It’s not that hard,” or, “All you have to do is name people and give them things to do.”

That last one was said to me personally and left me feeling dumbfounded.  Writing is so much more than that. It’s making a character into a real person. Giving him or her feelings, quirks, making them jump off the page till you can believe that they really lived, or leave your heart aching because deep down you know they didn’t.

Writing is something that I wouldn’t trade for anything, because the euphoria of creating a world, people, a whole novel that is completely my own is something I would never trade for anything. *except maybe the library from Beauty and the Beast* 

Today, I want to share with you three things that I’ve learned on my journey. And I hope that it inspires and helps you whatever road you’re on.

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Perseverance

When I was twelve years old, due to life circumstances, I had to stop writing. What followed was the hardest four years of my life, till I was sixteen and took up writing again.

For the two years that followed, I dabbled in writing, starting many stories, but never finishing one. Then in 2015 I found the One Year Adventure Novel. That curriculum brought back my joy of writing and in 2016 I finished my novella retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

I went to workshops, met authors and publishers and read writing books. I visited favorite blogs like Tessa Emily Hall’s, reading her posts over and over again.
Then, on August 23, 2017 I finished my first novel. I finished a story, my story. I had setbacks, eight years of them, but I pushed through even when it hurt, when things seemed unsure.

Writing has taught me to persevere, always, to never give up on that dream. Because, as Bilbo so fondly said, “the road goes ever on and on,” and none of us can see what’s ahead.

 

I had LuLu print the final results. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to hold hard copies of your books……or put them on your head. 

 

Time Management

Time doesn’t stand still for anyone, so managing it well is important. Maybe you have lots of time, and don’t have to worry about not having time to write.

I’m not one of those people.

I have work, commitments, and am cursed with human limitations by He Who Must Not Be Named. When I was in high school, I realized that if I wanted to write (which in and of itself is time consuming) I would have to make a schedule, and stick to it.

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Writing has taught me to have a schedule and stick to it to the best of my ability. Having a set time ensures that in the craziness of life, I have a chance to escape it.

Practice Makes Progress

I know the common saying is “practice makes perfect,” but nobody is ever perfect, neither can they achieve doing something perfectly, especially in the field of writing. Everything I’ve learned from workshops, blog posts, and books has helped me to improve my writing. I’ve noticed and so have others. The more you write, the better you will be.

 

Write on,
Rebecca

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Talk bro,
What have you learned from writing?

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