I've been writing this 'Yours in Writing' blog for many years now, and I would like to thank all of you for the fantastic feedback and regular comments both here and on Facebook and Twitter. It means a lot to me. To say thank you, I'd like to address some topics that YOU have asked me to cover. The first - and yes, probably the easiest - is my writing routine. When do I write? How many words? Computer or long hand?
Over the next few weeks I will tackle the other questions I've recently been asked - on planning books, getting published for teenagers, what editors are looking for right now and other subjects. If there is something that you would like me to cover, you only have to ask.
So - my writing routine. And thanks to Claire Hennessy for the question, a very experienced writer herself.
Here's a map of my writing day:
7am Rise (groggily) and get the kids to school.
8.30am Get home and start thinking about what I have to do today.
Potter around the house avoiding work, 'tidying', opening mail, checking emails, Twitter and Facebook (terrible I know but best to get it over with early I find so I can get on with my morning! Twitter and Facebook are big distractions but also great fun and I dip in and out during the afternoon when I'm doing my emails and admin etc).
9.30 Walk - think about my current book while doing so (or that's the idea - it doesn't always work out that way - somametimes I end up chatting to my mum or a friend while walking - which is also nice!).
10.30am Switch off my mobile and take the phone off the hook - my writing computer does not have the internet - which is a Godsend! Sit down at my desk.
Stare into space for a while.
Stare into space some more.
10.45am Start writing.
I write straight onto my computer (I'm a fairly fast and accurate touch typist) but I do also write a lot of early plot notes/character notes in yellow notebooks. Yes, always yellow!
1.00pm Collect my son or if he's in after school, stay writing until 2pm.
I aim to write about 2,000 words a day - that's my natural limit. Anything more than that is a bonus but if I don't reach my target I don't beat myself up about it. I write as often as I can, every day if possible - that way it's easier to jump straight back into the story. Otherwise I have to re-read what I've been writing and it slows the process down. Sometimes I stop writing in the middle of a sentence or a thought - I find it easier to pick up the thread of the story that way. It's probaby a bit nuts, but whatever gets you through, right?
In 15 years of writing (10 of those full time) I have always written something when I've sat down at my desk. Even if I'm not feeling great or am having a horrible day/week/month I still manage to write a page or two. I have NEVER left my desk without getting something down.
In the afternoon I deal with my emails (I hate email but it's a necessary evil), answer phone calls, write my blogs (I have two, this one and one on my Amy Green website and also blog for Girls Heart Books), do my event programming and check in with my Facebook and Twitter friends. I also update my website and write any reviews, articles or other bits of writing I've been asked to do.
I also used to work three or four evenings a week, but recently I have stopped this. I'm not as productive as I used to be but it gives me more time to spend with my family.
And that, my friends, is my writing day! I am very blessed to be able to write full time and I would like to thank my readers for making it possible.
Yours in writing,