Sunday, August 3, 2014

Writing M O D E

What is that EXACTLY?

In several interviews and even at events, people ask me "how do I write?" I know I put thoughts down in my journal and sooner or later I may get more ideas and then I add to those thoughts and so on until I get a burst and it's a book! Many of my friends set time aside each day and write a set amount of words. I simply cannot do that, I've tried and it's an epic failure!  I do write almost every day -- but it is quick thoughts or notes or ideas in my writing journal ... I may even write a complete story -- but it most likely will never turn into a book. I think it might be because I like pen and paper more so than a computer and so writing with the flow of a pen relaxes me -- staring at a screen intimidates me!

Well ... I was VERY aware of my burst of writing the other day and I believe it's because so many people have asked me about it. I have been working on a story start - Red Goes To Kindergarten for many years -- probably 5 or 6 years. Red's been down some strange paths ... But on Friday afternoon/evening/night I went into WRITING MODE ....

I grabbed my journal and furiously wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote ... you get the idea. I then tried to rest, but my mind was chock full of pictures and how the story was developing and what else could be added and word choices were popping up ... so resting / sleeping was NOT an option. This girls brain was on overdrive. I got up and pulled up the VERY rough story start of Red on my computer. Actually, I had to drag out my external hard drive and load up Red. I opened up the journal and started reworking the story. And reworking the story and reworking the words and the flow and the rhythm. It was getting light out and I now knew that sleep was NOT an option.  I had the story close to complete so I saved it--for the zillionth time to both hard drive and external drive and closed the computer.

I tried to rest for an hour or so, but my head still was "swirly" so I got back up, made some coffee and opened the file again. At that point, it's hard to fix typos, or comma mistakes ... but I grappled with some more word choices and finally at about 11:00 in the morning about 18 hours from when I started, I felt I needed readers!

Now, I have worked on stories before and then just close the computer and feel that NO ONE EVER needs to read them ... but I felt Red is one that I will be really proud to have children and adults read ... so -- I got a few readers and they helped me see a few things that 18 hours of Laura focusing didn't catch ... I fixed those things and reworked it a bit more ... I always change it up a bit after people READ it!  There needs to be some element of surprise when they read the finished copy! I contacted my publisher and the Director of Mktg emailed me back, thrilled I completed my 5th book and was excited to read it and I will be sending it off early this week.

Now ... about that "swirly" head ... I was never totally aware of that before, but I consciously thought about it because people ask what happens when I write, or how do I write -- but I know that it always happens ... I feel restless, fatigued, headachy, nervous, excited, I see illustrations (that I know I could never draw), I see each page of the story, I hear the words in my head, I can't concentrate on anything else, it's hard to eat and sleep ... Steven says it must be like I'm coming down off some creative energy flow ... I do know that I feel that way for a few days and Red will be about all I can think about for the next few days.

This is what a very tired, unshowered, very hungry, swirly headed, super excited author looks like!
I hope Red Goes To Kindergarten will be ready to release by mid-Summer, 2015 - just in time
for Back To School next year!
And ... I hope you will help me celebrate it's coming to be!

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