My word for the year is Process. I’m excited to watch the year unfold and see where this word takes me. My word last year helped in my personal life a lot, but I did not feel it touch my writing much. I think this year will be a marvelous combination of both. I’ve spent the last six years trying to refine my process of writing and now I’ll spend an entire year meditating on what Process really means and looks like.
Sometimes you have to do it shit scared.
Mostly my process has come out of being shit scared and doing it anyway. I’m not lying. Thus, the picture above. A friend texted me and told me I should put Dandelion out there and I found myself on the floor freaking out. My kids came around me and said, “Do it! Get up and do it!” Eventually, I did. Not just get up off the floor but really put Dandelion out there. That first publishing attempt was riddled with screw ups. My Kindle version came out but with the wrong manuscript. My paperback took 8 more months before getting published. That, as well, had issues causing me to unpublish and republish it. My process was flawed and embarrassing. Trust me, I thought about giving up, but at the end of the day, the thing that really made me come alive was writing. I couldn’t discount that, and I couldn’t quit.
You have to find what works and be willing to change it when the muse changes.
I’ve spent time figuring out what helps me create a story. One of my favorite things to do is collect the things that “feel” like a character or story to me. I spend hours, days, weeks, collecting pictures, quotes, color swatches, songs that feel like a certain person to me. I compile them until I know who that person is inside and out. I do the same for the story. I collect and collect until it feels right. When I sit down to write I know when something is off because it doesn’t fit within the collection I’ve made.
I’ve tried multiple forms of journals, notebooks, lists, graphs, to keep the ideas organized. One of my wip has an entire journal with graphs, quotes, outlines, character pages that I made myself for myself to fill in. My latest Dandelion wip is incorporated into my daily BuJo. I love coloring in the blocks of accomplishment daily. I have a filing system of characters, notes, maps, and previous drafts sitting in my office. I’ve started using the One Note program on my computer to keep track of outlines. While these things are working for those novels and ideas, I realize they might not work for the next. That’s the thing about creativity and part of the process, it is always changing. Almost complete silence and sitting in a room alone is what I needed for my first work. Currently, my mind comes alive when I sit in Starbucks, no headphones, letting the ruckus of the baristas and customers turn to white noise while my imagination swirls with Greenside. It’s an adventure. It’s a process. And I’m learning to enjoy it and go with it.