When you’re in writing mode, do you follow a word quota, a time quota or do you just wait for your muse to arrive, words in hand?
By Tracy Kiely
Here is my process, broken down in two helpful phases.
Phase One: I give myself a deadline for a first draft and begin writing. Generally, I imagine that I will be writing my book while dressed in some stylish, yet comfortable, white linen ensemble. My house will be clean, organized, and decorated in a way that suggests professional help or a stunning level of personal taste. A cup of hot tea sits beside me on my desk and I type away, not letting distractions interrupt me. I finish ahead of schedule and manage to lose five pounds in the process.
Phase Two: Chaos. After glancing away for a teensy second, my muse ups and leaves. I don’t know if she ducked out for a quick cigarette or what, but she is MIA. I begin to suspect that she may have been hit by a bus. Either that or she’s sprawled on a beach somewhere in Cancun. I begin to panic. My tea is cold and I gain ten pounds in one day. I try to clean my house in the hopes that this will lure my Muse back. It does not. I panic some more. After a few months, my Muse returns. She smells horrible and refuses to explain herself. I am so grateful, I don’t care (but I won’t let her sit on the white couch – I’m not delusional). We spit out the book, and I collapse and swear I will never let this happen again.
I, of course, am lying to myself.
Here is the best visual can find to explain my process. (I’ve edited it for our delicate readers)