Monday, April 11, 2016

Finding Your Process

If there's one thing most of us can agree on, it's that everything changes. Things rarely stay the same for very long. When they do, it can be both a blessing and a curse.

As writers, we have to find a certain rhythm to our process and discover what works. Rarely will we land on that our first time out.

Two years ago this summer, I published my first novella. And since then, I've gone on to publish two more, plus a compilation and an audiobook of the same. I plan to release two books this year. But as I realize it's April now, I recognize that I've got a lot ahead of me in order to make that a reality, even with the help of beta readers and a trusted editor.

Two years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom and an author. Now, I'm also a first grade teacher since I homeschool. This fall, I'll become a second grade and kindergarten teacher when my youngest starts the schooling process.

Which means my process for writing and producing quality books is constantly evolving. What worked for me two years ago doesn't necessarily work for me now. And what works now probably won't be what works in six months.

Though I'm attempting to roll with the punches, sometimes they land hard and I get the wind knocked out of me. Since the beginning of the year, I've been trying to refine my process so I can juggle three projects at once, albeit in different phases of development. So far, that hasn't happened. I'm juggling at most 1 and a half (half because I'm still giving that second project some thought in my non-writing time, but no actual work is going into it right now.)

It can be quite discouraging sometimes, especially since I tend to be the type of person who bites off more than they can chew and won't tell you that she's choking in the process.

Jumping through hoops at Arabian Nights
Photo by Experience Kissimmee
But when I finally complete something, even if it's overdue if only in my head alone, I feel vindicated again. I can do this.

So can you.

Many, many authors find their process early on, and it simply clicks. Write for 30 minutes on the bus to work. Write over lunch. Write for six hours on a Saturday when you'd rather be out with your family.

Then you have authors like yours truly whose life is in constant change, whose weeks are never the same twice, who must jump through hoops to simply get the work done.

It's crazy-making. But at the end of the day, when I have a finished book ready to deliver to my readers, it makes all the jumping worth it.

Question for you: Have you discovered your process, or is it ever-evolving? What does it look like right now?
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  1. I'm still trying to find mine. Doing the RV thing has two issues. Space and traveling. When we land somewhere we go out and explore. Tends to take me away from writing. But it also give me ideas to write about.

    1. I've told my husband before that I'd probably be okay living and traveling in an RV after our kids are grown for the simple reason that I'd always be home. (And if it was more of a motor coach than a pull-behind RV, it would work even better.) But I can imagine it would be very difficult to find a routine with that situation!

      Thanks for chiming in!

  2. Being flexible is important, but so is adhering to some type of routine that works for you. I know people who have daily word count goals and other who don't engage on social media until a certain time. All my days are different and sometimes making a "plan" to use those non-planned hours is the kiss of death. But putting words on paper is actually a small part of the "writing" process.

    1. Flexibility is probably why I haven't found a routine that works for me. :p