Over on Facebook, in a kind of virtual spin-the-bottle challenge, I was tagged by author Lynne Raimondo to share seven things about my writing that most people don’t know… it quickly morphed into a confessional. I planned on numbering them from least to most embarrassing, but that turns out to be impossible, so here they are in the order they came to me…
#1. I have a desk, but I don’t normally write there. Instead, I sit on the couch with a laptop, then I sit on the carpet, then I sit outside, then I stand at the kitchen bar, then I sit on the bed, and so on. I don’t normally stay in one place for longer than a half hour. My dog likes to be wherever I am, so this drives her insane.
#2. I used to be a really, really good speller, and I felt smugly superior to people who were not-so-good spellers. Now, for unknown reasons, I am a not-so-good speller, and it’s hugely embarrasing. Embarasing. Embarrassing. The only way I know I finally got that right is because my word-processing program has not underlined it in red.
#3. Some days I write 2,000 words with ease, and others I struggle, truly struggle, to write 200.
#4. I write the word “wow” in a lot of dialogue. My editor has asked me to limit myself to no more than four wow’s per manuscript.
#5. I have a love/hate relationship with outlines. I envy writers who can stick to them while they work, but at the same time, I like to be surprised as the story develops. Otherwise, I lose interest. I always have an outline in the beginning, but invariably it gets abandoned as the story and characters flesh out and take on a life of their own. This is hugely problematic though, because it’s easy to write oneself into a corner and get stuck there. So far, I’ve been lucky.
#6. I can’t write and listen to music at the same time, and I can’t write if someone else is in the room. I’ve lately gotten into the habit of turning off my internet and phone while I write, not necessarily to limit interruptions (although that is a nice side-effect) but because it’s isolating, and the more alone I feel, the better work I do.
#7. I write early in the morning, usually starting by seven, and I keep going until the coffee pot is empty, usually around noon, with just one or two short breaks. I’ll go at it again in the afternoon, but once the sun has gone down, I’m useless.