Spring is in the air. What a perfect time to talk about new beginnings. Flowers are blooming, farmers markets are overflowing with new harvests, Dancing With The Stars has started up again, and I have begun a new novel.
While technically my two previous novels are still on submission, I've had to let go of that oppressive yet thrilling and consuming daily hope. Not because I don't still hope for a sale, some way, some how, but because I need all that energy to delve into this new story.
I am tackling this piece in an entirely different way.
First, I am writing it directly onto the computer. In the past, I've handwritten everything and then plugged it into the computer at a later date. This time I'm cutting out the middle-man and jumping straight to the source. While I love the process of correcting while I translate, I find the straight-to-computer method simply quicker.
Second, I have set a 500 minimum words-per-day goal. I have NEVER written this way before. In the past, if it flowed, great, if it stalled - oh well. In fact, I never understood people who spoke of their oevres in wordcount speak. I was a page number only girl. But not anymore. The 500 words-per-day method has been a revelation. No more stalling. If I'm not in the mood to write, tough luck, I've got a limit to reach. I so admire people who have set high wordcount goals. I could probably eek out 1,000 per day if held by gunpoint, but you 2-3,000 word-a-day writers are total rock stars. This is so challenging, but as of today I have 18,500 words and I'm not even paying attention to how many pages that is.
And third, I am writing from a vague outline. This is another NEVER HAVE I DONE THIS BEFORE moment. What I love about writing is the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants experience. I always assumed an outline killed that sensation. But nooooo. This vague outline (that admittedly keeps getting adjusted, recreated, moved around) has been a lifeline.
Lastly, and this is a hard one, I'm not playing the fantasy game. It's burned me too many times in the past. I'm not standing at a podium at the TED conference, nor am I being interviewed by Charlie Rose. I'm not thinking book tour, book festival, book awards...I'm simply telling a story the best way I know how, by putting one word in front of the other and enjoying the ride.
Has your writing process changed throughout the years? How so?