Today, we welcome another of our tireless volunteers. Hi, Catherine and thank you for sharing a day in your writing life.
What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?
I’m a night owl by choice but an anytime writer so it gets done. I’m self-employed, so if I have a quiet moment, I take the time to write (or do something writing-related). Quiet moments can be 5 minutes or a whole day, depending on how work is going. I love it when I sneak a few hours writing time. If I don’t write through the day, then I have to write at night (or I can’t sleep). I think my best ideas come writing at night – or else when I’m almost asleep (and they get scribbled in a notepad beside my bed, no light, appalling scribble). If I don’t capture those random thoughts they’re either gone forever (I think the good ones go) or plague me until I write it down (sometimes these aren’t so good in the cold light of day!).
Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?
Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?
I have a whiteboard (a tiny A4-sized one) where I scribble ideas. Everything is pretty much jammed in my head until it’s written.
Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?
I am a pantser. If I plot, I know the story and I don’t have to write it. I’d like to be able to plot. It would stop the countless false starts and all those “thrown away” chapters and scenes. I usually have a rough idea in my head of the story and the end.
I started out editing as I went but over the last few years I’ve learned that is really bad for my storytelling. Once I start editing, I lose the characters and the story. I start drifting, lose my focus, forget what my story was. And if I get help from CPs or judges, then who knows what my story will become. So now I write a really awful rough draft first to get the guts of the story down. Then I make an editing attempt and fill in the blanks I can see and fix up some of the goofs. Then my fantastic CPs will have a look and then the work begins! But at least I know what the story is and it doesn’t go off in someone else’s direction (or on some weird whim of mine!).
And I have also learnt that if I’m editing (or learning new things), the creative part of my brain takes a holiday. So it’s no good for me to be writing and editing. Pick one and see it through. I’ve learnt that my brain is a far more confused space than I ever thought possible.
Oh, I am a mess. And really the photo doesn’t make it look as bad as it is. My office is my space. It’s small and crammed with all the things my husband doesn’t “get”. Plus I like working with everything within arms reach, so things pile up until I finish with them. My husband hates my office… but I love it – it’s how I work (that confused brain thing again *g*).
What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?
I have an online backup system, so I backup my files for the day. The system does backup at intervals throughout the day but before I shut down I make sure it’s caught everything. I’m a bit paranoid, not only about losing my writing but my work files too.
Thank you, Catherine for participating.