My Writing Process

A fellow blogger invited me to answer some questions about my writing process, so here we go:

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

My work falls under more than one genre. My favorites are humor, horror, children’s and YA fiction. As for what makes it different from others’ work, it has been said that I have the gift of “making something every-day like sound incredibly out of the ordinary and special.”

I’ve also been told that I am able to find humor in the most unusual places.

How does my writing/creative process work?

It might be that I’m out for a walk in the woods, eating a chicken sandwich at a cafe, or I could wake up in the middle of the night with a random idea. I find my notebook and write the idea down as soon as possible. Because the majority of my work is short stories, poems, or children’s stuff, I generally don’t spend time outlining or taking notes before I begin writing. I just dive right in and see where it goes. If I’m working on a novel I do spend some time organizing beforehand…I will write character sketches, outline the plot, etc. and break it down. When I’m “finished,” I read the whole thing and make my first round of changes. As any writer knows, this can be an agonizing process. I then put it aside for at least a week and read it again on a fresh day. Then I make a second round of changes. At this point I’ll usually share it with some trusted friends, family, or peers from my writing group to get their initial reaction. Sometimes I make their suggested changes, many times I don’t. Then I let the piece sit for another couple weeks, and usually I’ve already started something else at that point. I then look at the piece once more after a few weeks have passed and make another round of changes or until I’m as satisfied as I can possibly be. Finally I start shopping around for publishers.

Why do I write or create what I do?

I believe this is what I was meant to do. Since I was around 6 years old I’ve been writing poetry and little stories. There’s always a story or poem ready to burst out, like the chestburster in Alien. For other reasons you’ll have to read the poem below by one of my favorite American authors, Charles Bukowski.

so you want to be a writer?

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you

in spite of everything,

don’t do it.

unless it comes unasked out of your

heart and your mind and your mouth

and your gut,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit for hours

staring at your computer screen

or hunched over your

typewriter

searching for words,

don’t do it.

if you’re doing it for money or

fame,

don’t do it.

if you’re doing it because you want

women in your bed,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit there and

rewrite it again and again,

don’t do it.

if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,

don’t do it.

if you’re trying to write like somebody

else,

forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of

you,

then wait patiently.

if it never does roar out of you,

do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife

or your girlfriend or your boyfriend

or your parents or to anybody at all,

you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,

don’t be like so many thousands of

people who call themselves writers,

don’t be dull and boring and

pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-

love.

the libraries of the world have

yawned themselves to

sleep

over your kind.

don’t add to that.

don’t do it.

unless it comes out of

your soul like a rocket,

unless being still would

drive you to madness or

suicide or murder,

don’t do it.

unless the sun inside you is

burning your gut,

don’t do it.

when it is truly time,

and if you have been chosen,

it will do it by

itself and it will keep on doing it

until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

What I’m working on at the moment:

Right now I’m searching for a publisher for a children’s story that’s been completed for about a year now. I’m also working on a young adult story about the Riot Grrrl movement of the 90s.

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13 thoughts on “My Writing Process

    • Thank you, thank you. I hope you are referring to Mr. Bukowski’s inspiring poem and not my rather boring yet informative writing process. 😀

      • I didn’t realize the poem was by Bukowski, even though you’d noted that in the post. I must have been drunk. But it’s all good, the post I mean.

  1. I love Bukowski, he’s an absolute genius, but I have to say I don’t trust him! His devious dubiosity lives on! 🙂 I suspect that even Bukowski was flawed, and he damn well knew he was, understanding him is like melting the ice 🙂

    • Ha, the FBI didn’t trust him, either. He surely was flawed (a narcissistic, mysogynistic alcoholic), however brilliant he was. His writing got down to the nitty gritty stuff of life and I will forever be inspired by his work.

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