I sat down this morning to shoot a note to a young woman who’s still in secondary school, but who is looking for a bit of mentorship in the way of writing a great book from start to finish. After putting my thoughts on paper I realized that even though most of you (my writing friends) have written a book, perhaps there are some of you who haven’t, so I thought it appropriate to share. I’m going to blog my writing process over the next few weeks and where I’ll try not to talk about word count and all that jazz, there are bits I’ll share about how I get so much done and why my production schedule can look as ridiculous as it does.
It’s all part of the process. 🙂
Here are the phases of writing a book, as far as I’m concerned.
1. Inspiration – coming up with an idea
2. Planning, Plotting, Character Building
3. Writing that first draft
4. Editing, First Readers and Cover Design
5. Beta Readers, Revisions and Blurb Writing
6. Wrapping it all up and releasing it to the world
So for the inspiration, which is the beginning for me. People ask a lot – where do you get your ideas or what’s your inspiration? I have lots of inspiration, but I’ll tell you a few of them.
My inspiration comes from the life around me. So I keep my eyes open at all time and my ears ready to hear something new. Part of that is keeping a notepad with me, or using my “notes” on my iPhone to scribe down ideas. I have over 300 book ideas that I’m sure I’ll be an old lady before I finish getting through, but it’s nice to know they are there and ready for me to build on. The process always starts with an idea or some bit of inspiration.
Music gets me everytime, or a great painting of a person or scene. Other types of art can spin me into a new story no problem. I laugh at the people around me in my life that are funny and cry alongside them too, which helps me build characters in my stories that are real and authentic because they look and feel a lot like my brother, my daughter, my best friend.
I allow myself to day dream – a lot. I still get things done, but that artsy part of our brains needs to breathe and part of letting it breathe is relaxing the part of you that has a “to-do” list and just breathing. Sit outside on a beautiful day and just enjoy the creation around you, which will open your mind and let all the great things you saw and heard that past week become the inspiration you need for yet another great story.
My advice for this first phase (Inspiration) – keep your ears open and your eyes ready to capture the life and beauty all around you, then jot it down and save it in an inspiration journal or something cool like that. Step one of writing a great story starts with having a tale to tell, and inspiration is the way we gather those bits to start the process.
Talk to me: What inspires you?