Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Everyday I Write The Book

(my apologies to Mr. Elvis Costello for abusing his song title!)

Okay, here's the thing. There are a lot of great authors, who write really great blogs--blogs about writing.

But I am not one of them.

I read them, don't get me wrong. And I'm always fascinated by they way those very same authors so painstakingly articulate how they do what they do. Write books that is.

But that's probably because I have no idea how I do what I do.

And whenever someone asks me about my "process" I always end up mumbling some incoherent, disjointed phrases, about endless cups of coffee and stained sweatpants.

But what I've recently come to discover is-- that is my process. That my caffeine addiction and penchant for wearing slippers past noon, is exactly how I do what I do.

For instance-- this is yesterday at a glance--verbatim:

9:05 AM- Wake up (never claimed to be a morning person)

9:06 AM - Stumble into kitchen to warm up some milk (an affectation left over from my days of living in Europe)

9:08 AM- Pour warm milk into jumbo sized mug, grab coffee pot, and head for office.

9:08 AM- 3:05-ish- Sip coffee, check e-mail, tool around the Internet, troll around iTunes looking for songs that will inspire me to write something really, really good, download songs, listen to said songs over and over again while sipping coffee and checking e-mail, get up from chair and stand before mirror wearing new Chanel sunglasses bought in impulsive-new-book-deal -celebratory-type-splurge, turn head this way and that then in lean in very, very, close until nose leaves smudge on mirror, decide sunglasses feel awkward and wrong, like an illicit flirtation that went too far, put them back in Nordstrom's bag vowing to return them ASAP, head back to desk, sip coffee, check e-mails, think about working out, think about meditating, close eyes for 4 minutes and 52 seconds while singing along to James Taylor's FIRE AND RAIN, open eyes, turn down volume, wonder if that just counted as meditation, sip coffee, check e-mails. . .

3:06 PM- Open WIP folder, begin reading.

3:07 PM- Begin revising WIP

4:00 PM- Begin adding New Stuff to WIP

10:00 PM- Turn off computer, meet husband on couch to watch MEDIUM, convince husband it counts as "research" as WIP is paranormal.

11:00 PM- Go to bed and read until very, very late.

That's it. And trust me, it truly is as ugly as it seems. Notice there were no story boards, no flash cards, no deep thinking, just a day long procrastination until it somehow begins to click.

What about you? Do you have a "process" for writing? For living?


Erica Orloff said...

Sounds like me. Minus the four kids constantly calling: "Mom!" I have no process because it's always getting undermined by rela life. So I go with it.


Brooke Taylor said...

It's no wonder so many people want to become writers!

I did buy flash cards....they're still in the desk drawer.

Alyson Noel said...

Erica- And somehow you manage to be prolific as heck, write an amazing blog, raise a wonderful brood--I want the recipe to your secret elixir--please!

Hey Brooke- Yup, it's like an endless summer-- one where you never go to the beach!
I bought flash cards because my guru (!) Robert McKee insists on it in his book and seminar. I got as far as removing the plastic wrap, then returned to my disjointed ways. . .

Susan Hatler said...

Sometimes, I pick up the house or fold laundry before I write. It's kind of a prep for writing. I'm with you on the not getting up early thing. You actually got up earlier than I did ;)

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Susan- Yup, I also use housework as a procrastination tool-- I mean, prep for writing! :-D

So glad to know I'm not the only one who sleeps late. . .

Erica Orloff said...

I take amphetamines.


P.S. In all seriousness . . . having to SUPPORT all those kids means I have no choice BUT to be prolific. :-)

Alyson Noel said...

Erica-- Ah, yes, practical thinking-- now I understand!