A Day in the Writing Life of …Carolyn Comito

Today we welcome Carolyn Comito who writes as CJ Archer.

What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer? I write whenever I can, which is when the kids are at school and kindy then at night once they’re in bed.

 What’s the first thing you do before you begin to write?      I re-read the last thing I wrote.

 Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work?      I spend as much time as necessary to re-read and get into the mood of that scene and refresh my memory (I have a terrible memory and if I don’t re-read, I’m likely to go off on a different tangent).

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?     I’m a plonner (or is that a planter?). In other words, I’m a bit of both. Before I start the book I figure out as much as I can about these characters, their GMC and how it meshes with the larger story arc as well.  I usually find out some major turning points this way, or at least what needs to happen for the characters to save the day and fall in love. These act as guideposts for the remainder of the journey. Then I write until I get stuck, at which point I brainstorm where the story will head from there, always keeping in mind the character arcs and plot arcs. Rinse and repeat the writing and plotting cycle until the final pieces fall into place around the major turning points. 

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time? Are you a goal setter with your writing?     I don’t have a schedule as such. My goals are to write as much as I can whenever I can.

Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?      When I finish a first draft I like to treat myself by reading a book I know I’ll enjoy from an author I know will immerse me in their world. The sort of book that can’t be put down, even to feed the family let alone think about writing. I can’t indulge in these sorts of books often or I’d never get anything done, so I leave them until I have time to devour them.  Since I love to read (who doesn’t!) it’s the best incentive and reward I can think of.

Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?

  1. Notebook
  2. Pen
  3. Internet for research (not for email, twitter, facebook – honest!)
  4. “Elizabeth’sLondon” by Liza Picard, my go-to research book for my Elizabethan historical romances
  5. Cocothe cat who likes some company when she snoozes on my grandmother’s old rocking chair near the window.

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between?      My desk is messy. There are bits and pieces of paper lying around with hand- written notes on them which must have meant something to me at the time of writing but usually don’t mean anything when I find them again.  I have far more pens than I need, a few framed photos plus my 2008 Emerald award which looks rather spiffy. Then there’s the dust gathering in the far right corner which I pretend I can’t see. 

What is your favourite form of procrastination? Do you have any tips to beat off that old foe “procrastination”?     I find the more time I have, the more I procrastinate. There’s always emails to check, blogs to read or a promo opportunity to chase up.  But I tell myself I can do those if I just get this scene finished, or X number of pages written.  Sometimes this method works.

 What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?     Backup!

My 2 self-published books, A Secret Life and A Secret Desire, will be re-released by Amazon’s Montlake Publishing on 24 April 2012.      Blog/web: http://cjarcher.blogspot.com

Thank you, Carolyn, for participating on our blog and sharing a day in your writing life. We wish you all the best with your new releases.

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  1. Hi Cj!

    Congratulations on your upcoming releases, I’m going to add them to my amazon wish list. And thanks for the reminder, I’m going to do a backup straight away.

    Tam 🙂

  2. Nice to meet you Carolyn. I like your goal: ‘Write as much as I can whenever I can’. I think I might adopt that for myself!


    • Juliet, I realised that life sometimes gets in the way of reaching daily writing goals and I used to feel bad if I didn’t write enough. With this kind of goal, I don’t get so stressed and that means I get more done in the long-run.


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