Monday, June 29, 2009

Hey Howdy and How Do You Do?

It's been awhile, hasn't it?

But I had to break away. It was a need to define my writing processes, and put to use what I discovered.

I learned some pretty pertinent stuff, like that I write better when I edit as I go - that is, take time to really make sure I'm saying what the story begs of me any given moment, instead of rushing through, just for the sake of getting it out no matter its quality. That works for some; I understand now, not me.

I realized it's best to keep my projects quiet. My momentum is steadier, and I hold up better to my own expectations and accountabilities than I do to those of others. That said, I've omitted the word count statuses in the sidebar, and plan to post only generically about my WIPs - at least during the creating and writing stages.

My output spikes when I write during morning hours, and if I change up my location every few weeks.

What I've always known is, my dependence on your support and encouragement is high. I couldn't write and dream if I didn't have all of you lifting me up and helping me along. And that won't change.

Have you ever taken the time to really discover who you are with your writing? What methods do you identify with?


WendyCinNYC said...

Glad you are back!

I can't write with a set word count, either. I have a goal and if I make it, great. If I pass it, better. If I don't get there, that's okay too.

I'm trying to find my groove on a new project, but right now it feels like an overwhelming mess. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Janna, I can't write furiously and go back and edit, either. I have to hone and edit as I go (at least the big edits; I always do minor stuff later as well). Also don't do well with word count pressures. ;) I do better just writing until a major section or thought is completed (and hate interruption until it is).

JLC said...

YAY!! Welcome back Janna!! I missed your blog. :)

I understand how you feel and have come to a few conclusions myself. I write in spurts. (I'd like to think of them as power surges) I get a wild idea, get excited, and rush through a few thousand words. Then, other times, I don't even want to look at a word file.

Glad you found your writing mojo. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

I am SOOOO happy to have you back!!! Ok--now that I said that--I think it is important to find what works for us and then do it! I am the opposite of you and that's me:)

Joanne said...

Welcome back Janna, Happy Summer to you :)

I find that alot of research prior to the actual writing is a help to the process. It gives me something to frame the story with, a structure to fill with the plot. Many ideas branch off the research, too. So maybe it's a form of internal editing before I get into the actual writing.

Jody Hedlund said...

Welcome back! Glad you made some discoveries about your writing that were helpful! That is so cool!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Janna, it's so great to see you here. That's wonderful you've found what works for you. Taking time to establish that routine or strategy is so helpful and I'm happy you had the chance!

Melissa Amateis said...

I'm so glad to see you back and to have learned so much from your hiatus.

It's strange - my writing process seems to be different on each book. The one thing I have learned, though, is that keeping a journal for each book is a tremendous help.

Anonymous said...

Well I definitely haven't discovered who I am with writing yet, but I did realize that I write better in the morning. If I can get up before everyone else, words just fill my page. That said, it rarely happens. I'm not a morning person and that's a terrible predicament.

Glad you're back!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Wendy - It's good to be back! And you'll find it, the groove.

Pat! That's it for me, just the same. There's always stuff to be done later, but the more I can do as I go, the better.

JLC - I says to myself, I says, "Who is this JLC?" And then I saw your chick. You cracy turk, you. ;)

Terri - And yet still, we can still be close bloggy buddies. :)

Janna Leadbetter said...

Joanne - I get what you mean: You have to have a foundation before you can build upon it, no? Good to see you!

Jody - It was a good thing, for sure. Hope your endeavors are moving right along!

Thanks, Cindy! How're you?

Melissa - Yes, journals are a must!

FringeGirl - I'm really glad to hear you're writing, though! If you didn't choose to drink decaf, you might find help with your problem. ;)

Anonymous said...

Well hello there!

Funny thing is that my brain short circuits if I try to edit as I write. I do cross out stuff or even re-write somethings but I concentrate on writing first and editing later (which I hate, but alas).

Glad you found your rhythm Janna.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Janna girl, WELCOME back. Glad you got your head around your writing druthers and found the zone that works best for you.

My WIP is still on the back burner needing revisions, but I've been doing pretty well with poetry lately. I gotta get it all out, let it simmer a while, then get back in there and tweak, chop and spice it up. Like all the cooking analogies? LOL

You were missed.

Lori said...

So good to have you back, Janna!
It really looks like this break helped you figure out some things. I envy you. Maybe I should try to do this too.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Why, Hello to you once again!
Working on discovering more and more about myself as a writer. In the process I'm learning more and more about who I am as a person and all that God is trying to change.
~ Wendy

Capri K @ No Whining Allowed said...

Hey, welcome back!!! Glad you are learning pertinent stuff!

I have never taken the time to figure out who I am about ANYTHING! I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl.
I don't even consider myself a writer. I'm a talker.

Jessica Nelson said...

It doesn't matter what time of day, as long as I'm not too tired.

I usually read back a few pages and edit before jumping into my next scene.

I'm glad you discovered all this. :-) Nice to see your post up!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Rafael - Hi! I like how we all can be so different, yet still have so much in common.

Angie - How are you, lady? The cooking analogies, they don't surprise me. :D

Lori, yes! I think you'd find it helpful, too. Good to see you again!

Wendy - That's huge! And I've found the same thing - that more of who I am as an individual (and His will) comes through. :)

Capri K - I wish I could be more like that at times. I'm not very spontaneous at all.

Jessica - That helps me, too. I always read a few pages before I start writing again, just to make sure I've got the voice locked in.

Amy said...

Glad you're back! I identify w/much of what you're saying. I don't like to share my WIP's save for my writer's group, really. I hate people asking me about its progress. And I'm definitely a morning writer--a sharp contrast from my former life as an L&D nurse on the night shift! Glad you're getting a lot accomplished. Feels good, doesn't it?

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Janna, I am so happy to see you are still around. What is amazing about this post is that I've had an almost exact experience. I learned a long time ago that I naturally edit as I go, which means I write REALLY REALLY slow! But in the end, one draft can be like draft 5 or 6 instead of draft 2, because it's more polished. If that makes sense.

I like to keep my projects mostly quiet. I don't post excerpts all the time or talk about the characters, really. But both of them are in revision stage, so I write them a little bit. I've found that the fewer people I share with the better. I found that out the hard way. *sigh*

I write best when my daughter isn't bugging me, doesn't matter what time it is. But if I had my druthers, I would always write from 6 a.m. to noon every day with no interruptions. Haha. Yeah right!

Good luck with your writing! I'm always here for support if you need. :D

Tess said...

Welcome back :D

I write slow as well and tend to edit as I go along. There's so much value in learning about our own individual process, isn't there? I'm always fascinated to learn about how others tackle the writing beast. Thanks for sharing.

Kara said...

Welcome back. I write better slow and I edit like crazy. Maybe too much at times. My crit group once did some insane exercise of a novel in 30 days or something like that. We produced a lot of chapters quickly, but the quality for me was not worth it. It did teach me to be dedicated to writing each day though:)

Janna Leadbetter said...

Amy - I dread the status updates, too! And I did overnights in a hospital setting once upon a time, as well (junior counselor on a psych unit), and it wasn't my time to shine.

Lady - I agree! The benefits of my slow-going, editing process outweight getting it done more quickly.

Tess - There is! And it's so important. :)

Kara - That lesson in dedication had to be worth it!

scarlethue said...

Glad to have you back!

I hone and edit as I go. I also write better early in the morning before I'm wide awake, which is why some of my best writing is posted on my blog before 9 am, aka before caffeine. But I think I'm better doing it that way because that's the way I've always written. Trying to change anything just messes me up.

Janna Leadbetter said...

scarlethue - I know that zone you're talking about. For me, it's kind of a fuzzy, almost semi-lucid, state - and it produces some of the best stuff! :)

Deb Shucka said...

Welcome back! I do a lot of writing in my head before anything ever finds its way to print. Then I have to push it all out before I make any changes - otherwise nothing gets out. Right now I'm at the beginning stages of querying, so creativity is not a priority.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Welcome back! I'm so impressed that you stuck by your decision to take a break and truly learned something about how you write.

I'm with you on not talking about a new project too soon. I don't know if you remember, but when I first started my current wip I wouldn't tell anyone about it for at least a month or so. I don't like the outside pressure.

Right now I'm nervous that I won't be able to get back into a writing schedule after such a long break (edits) but I'm excited to try.

JOY said...

I respect your pauses (in fact learn from your example) and welcome your thoughtful insight as always! Glad to hear your observations about accepting your personal workable styles. Again, an inspiration I so enjoy - thanks!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Deb - Good luck with your queries! Keep us posted.

Melanie - I admire your discipline. Best to you as you finish!

Joy - Thanks for your kind words. You're pretty awesome yourself.

equalman said...

I came across your writing originally since we share the same last name. I too am an author and my next book comes out in August from Wiley. Anyhow, glad to have you back and keep up the great work!

- Erik Qualman

Janna Leadbetter said...

Well, Erik, how exciting! Best of luck to you. And come back, let me know how things go for you. :)