By Jamie Hill
Sometimes, the hardest part of the creative process is just getting started. I read another blog by an author this week on a similar topic, so I know it's not just me. Anyway, I thought I'd share a bit about how I work with you today.
My process begins as I'm driving down the road, or maybe in the shower. An idea comes to me, and I begin to flesh it out in my mind. I might be struck with a title, or the perfect name, and bits of a plot. First chance I get, I sit down in front of the computer and create a document for the new piece. I quickly jot down the thoughts I had, names, title, whatever. I debate whether to write a story synopsis first, or just start writing. I've done both. It's hard for me to write a synopsis first, but it does make the actual story writing easier.
Before I decide, the little envelope icon pops up indicating I have mail. This might be a reply to my latest submission- an acceptance, hopefully, and not a polite turn down. I must immediately click on the envelope. Turns out, it's the daily digest of one of my ninety Yahoo groups. *sigh* I scan it quickly and notice someone has blogged on an interesting topic, so I dash off to read it real fast. This, of course, leads to several other blogs and a controversial, snarky post with 89 comments. I don't want to read them, but I get sucked in like a vortex, and read a few.
Back to my home page, Yahoo, where I see a headline that chocolate sales haven't been hurt by the economy. Click on that for a quick peek. Leads me to an "Eat this, not that" blog about fast food, another deep sigh and back to Yahoo so I can minimize the screen and get busy. Ooh, Olivia Wilde from House was voted most drool-worthy by the men at Maxim magazine...have to check that out.
Next thing I know, my daily allotment of writing time is over, but that's okay. I've gotten a start on the latest story, so I can feel good about that. Tomorrow will be better.
Tomorrow, I remember the 'start' I got on the project was creating a document with the working title and jotting down the names "Trevor" or "Kurt"? Hmm, seems I have a ways to go. But I do have a weekly blog to write. And a few reviews to edit for a review site. I haven't checked in with Facebook for a while. Twitter gets all my blog feeds, but sometimes I like to pop in for real. Update my covers on Myspace, my book lists on Goodreads, and the four pages I have on Squidoo. Oops, writing time for today is over.
Deadlines save me. Give me a close due date, and you won't see my little face online until the story in question is complete. I get this way every couple of months, almost to the point of insanity. *Can't talk now, Jude, must write, write, write!* Then I finish the story, figure out what I'm going to write next, and wait for that flash of inspiration to arrive.
Checking my list- do I need anything at Wally world? There's a college university between my house and the store, which basically means lots of men walking down sidewalks. Each of them has a story. It's my job to create it. Time to get back to work.