Soar, Sink, Repeat: The Writing Cycle

**Open with picture of cat to put reader at ease**

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Oh, hai, you’re still with me. 😀 Most excellent! Now we can get started.

Forget about fame and fortune for a moment. Take book signings, launch parties, marketing, social media, and all that other stuff out of the equation. Let’s get down to the actual process of writing a book. Writers often talk about inspiration striking out of the blue, long stretches of writer’s block, and any number of levels in between. Of course, for each one who says this, there is another who says “real writers” don’t rely on inspiration, and you’re not a “real writer” unless you write every day. Truth is, there are as many ways to write as there are writers out there, and the trick is to just find the method that works best for you.

Here’s how I do it. The squeamish should look away.

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DIYDay Lesson 18: How NOT To Write

Write

When I began this series with the very first post, I told myself (and all of you) I would never tell you how to write. It’s not for me to say; I have been writing something or other since I could hold a pen in my hand, which gives me roughly 22 years of experience on the subject, and I still don’t feel qualified to give advice.

I have, however, received a lot of advice on writing, much of it unsolicited, some of it useful. Lately I have seen a lot of posts by bloggers, authors, etc. containing lists of rules for writing a successful novel. Rules for avoiding elements, things that are overdone in writing, things new writers do wrong… you name it, and there is probably a list out there for it.  It’s a thing now, people want to know the secret. How did you do it? How did you get so famous? What do I need to do to break through into the NY Times Best Sellers list? TELL ME!

I won’t tell you. Mostly because I haven’t done it myself yet, but also because I believe all those lists and rules are a lot of snake oil. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. In the end, we’re the ones who decide the outcome. We’re the ones holding the pen. All the rules and guidelines in the universe won’t make your story stand out if you don’t have a good story to tell. They might even smother your book, diminish its potential if they make you cut out what makes your story unique. Because that is what rules do: create cookie cutter novels for public consumption.

Here’s how I approach writing:

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What I Do ‘n How I Do It

Tag, I’m it! Thanks to the indefatigable Kimberly Grenfell (that fancy word is just for you, girl 😉 ) I have  been swept into the “My Writing Process” blog hop. You may have come across posts like these recently. That’s because they’re like internet trees, spreading their limbs exponentially in all directions. My duty was to tag three other people to continue this wildfire, but I find myself somewhat friendless at the moment, so this branch will, sadly, end with me.

Pause for a moment of silence.

Okay! Moving on! Since you’re here, I might as well share My Writing Process with you. Gather ’round, all ye who would listen, lend me your eyes, and allow me to pull back the curtain of mystery and invite you into the dark and twisted corridors of my mind…

Continue reading “What I Do ‘n How I Do It”