My writing process in bullet points

  • Check calendar and realize a new novel is due in 4-5 months. Panic ensues.
  • Sit down to start writing with nothing: no outline, no idea. Try not to cry.
  • Check calendar, book due date looks suspiciously closer.
  • With shaking hands, begin to write, write, and write. Know most of the words are no good but try not to dwell on that.
  • Hit page one hundred and experience mid-manuscript crisis. Lament to friend about the awfulness of book.
  • Meet with friend for an intervention. Repeat same conversation with friend that we have over every single book.

cupcakesMe: I have no idea what this book is about. I can’t do this.

Friend: You say that about every book.

Me: I know, but this time, it’s true. It’s going to kill me. I have no creative thoughts left.

Friend: You say that about every book.

Me: Oh wait, I know how to fix it! But oh no, this is a major rewrite. It will take forever. I’m doomed.

Friend: You say that about every book.

  • Recover from pity party, and finish rough draft. Book is now due in three months.
  • Dance around with glee. Eat a cupcake to celebrate.
  • Give self 48 hours off from book.
  • Start first revision. Beat head on desk over the jagged prose. Decide to completely rewrite the ending.
  • Finish first revision. Start to enjoy the process.
  • Give self 24 hours off from book.
  • Start second revision. Start to hate the novel less.
  • Give to beta reader.
  • A week later, get the novel back from beta with comments and incorporate those comments into manuscript.
  • Send book to agent. Book is now due in six weeks.
  • 3-4 weeks later, get book back from agent and incorporate her comments into manuscript. Start to think the book isn’t that bad.
  • Email book to editor.
  • Dance around with glee. Eat cupcake to celebrate.
  • Check calendar and realize a new novel is due in 4-5 months. Panic ensues.
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9 thoughts on “My writing process in bullet points

    • Hi Kim,
      A Beta reader is someone who will read an early draft of the novel and give you feedback on the overall story and plot. Typically a beta is a reader and not a writer. It’s different than a critique partner because a critique partner will go through your manuscript line by line. Thanks for the comment!

      • Another great question! Sometimes authors put out notices on FB and Twitter looking for beta readers. Literary agencies do the same thing. Or other authors meet their beta through discussion board and Facebook groups. My beta is someone I’ve known forever. 🙂

  1. Wait, why does Vannetta have a picture and I don’t? Whaaaa, I wanna picture (not really, but it feels good to vent while on deadline.) Dang, I’m so tech challenged I can’t even figure out how to add my picture. Whaaaa. (awe, another vent feels so good 🙂

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