Let’s chat all the secrets of my Writing Process // tag, anyone?


(image via pinterest. words my own.)

Alrighty, humans! Time to divulge the secrets of how Annie Gets Things Done. This could also be called the Behind the Scenes tag which Katie Grace happened to nominate me for, and if you don’t already haunt her blog or Twitter you must change this STAT — she’s the sweetest girl, y’all.

*passes out chocolate brownies to everyone*

is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

If I could feast on pizza every time I wrote I would be the happiest of humans. Also, the most plump, but minor details. 

Chocolate is my writing muse. Candy is nice as long as it is in a wrapper — peppermint patties are amazing.  I don’t snack much while writing because it’s too distracting and untidy. I like things I can have in a mug, e.g. smoothies, tea, café au lait, hot chocolate… 

when do you normally write? 

Last year I discovered that I do my best writing in the morning. As a general rule, I write from 10 o’clock to noon, take a lunch break, and then write for a hour more. 

Ideally, it would be epic if I could get up at 5 o’clock every morning and write for hours. Am I crazy much? O.o

where do you write?

At my desk in my bedroom. The desk lamp cast a soft, golden glow and the area has an almost perfect ambiance. It isn’t quite perfect yet because I don’t have an inspiration board.

During the winter I write downstairs in the living room curled up by the stove so my bones don’t freeze.

how often do you write a new novel?

Maybe two a year? I haven’t completed many first drafts yet, but I’d love to finish three per year.

do you listen to music while you write?

Did I mention earlier that chocolate is my writing muse? Scratch that. It’s definitely music. “I’m sooo changeable!”

90% of the time I listen to music when I write. I have multiple writing play lists. It inspires me, helps me capture the essence of the scene, and plus, it’s just beautiful. Fast-paced music is a tremendous help during word wars.

Also, I tend to listen to just instrumental music when I’m scribbling. Lyrical music throws me off. Movie scores and classical are my favorites, with some Piano Guys. 

what do you write on? laptop or paper?

Since I don’t own a laptop, I write everything longhand. Probably even after I purchase a computer, I’ll still write first drafts by hand. There’s something about creating the words as I go — instead of typing them up on a screen — that is incredibly inspiring. 

is there a special ritual you have before/after you write?

Before I write?

Step One: Wash face.

Step Two: Clip up hair (is not always mandatory).

Step Three: Tidy desk, and put glass of water a safe distance from notebook. 

Step Four: Locate favorite pen.

Step Five: Beckon the Muse, i.e. music or sometimes chocolate.

Step Six: WRITE ALL THE WORDS. KILL ALL THE DARLINGS. CRY ALL THE TEARS. FEEL ALL THE FEELS.

After writing?

Stretch. Re-read favorite parts. Try to pretend there isn’t quite so much editing to be done. Pat self on back. Update family and Twitter.

Repeat. 

what do you do to get into the mood to write?

Make myself neat and tidy. Pray. Re-read some of my favorite writing in my own books. Just start writing.

Brainstorming + word sprints are Things that are Very Helpful. 

what is always near the place where you write?

A glass of water. Light. My phone for music or word wars. 

do you have a reward system for your word count?

Not a system, per se. The happy glow of having accomplished something is the Best Feeling Ever. If we have cookies or such in the house I’ll munch on one and read a book. Sometimes I reward myself by sharing a snippet with a Watson-friend. If I’ve had a really long, involved day of writing, I’ll reward myself by watching a movie or TV episode.

is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?

1. I write like a hummingbird — meaning I dart all over the book whilst scribbling it.

For instances: 

In Blood Thread, I write half of the first scene. Then I skipped 1/4 of the way into the book and started writing there. Right now I’m at 3/4 into the book. 

2. I can’t stick to one notebook. Currently Blood Thread is spread out over four. The first one has the beginning, the second notebook has the middle portion, and the last two have random bits and pieces.

3. I can not write in an untidy environment. If my desk/room looks like a World War III zone, I have to quickly organize it. If the living room is cluttered, I clean it. Sometimes I’ll start laundry before I write so I’ll feel like I’m multitasking. 

4. I tend to go comma-happy.

5. I almost always write in cursive.

Ta-dah!

Now, for the tagging. *rubs hands together gleefully*

Brianna da Silva @ StoryPort || Ness @ of words & books || Brett @ Brett Michael Orr || Schuyler @ My Lady Bibliophile || Hanne-col @ Ain’t We Got Fun || Nicole @ A Soul Spun From Ink || Emily @ The Hero Singer

Tell me ALL about your writing secrets, humans! I’m dying to know. No pressure. *wink*

the questionlings

– Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

– When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?

– Where do you write?

– How often do you write a new novel?

– Do you listen to music while you write?

– What do you write on? Laptop or paper?

– Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?

– What do you do to get into the mood to write?

– What is always near the place you write?

– Do you have a reward system for your word count?

– Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?

As for the rest of you, feel free to snag the tag anyways!

All right, ladies and gentlemen. I need some new ideas for my rewards “system.” TALK TO ME. *bribes with chocolate chips*


12 thoughts on “Let’s chat all the secrets of my Writing Process // tag, anyone?

  1. This is lovely! And much more organized than my writing methods. 🙂 I like to bribe myself with books and/or chocolate after every draft and such…sometimes I’ll keep episodes of my favorite shows from myself until I’ve written a certain amount.

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  2. I wish I could be so organized! Since I do write on my laptop (you must have hands of steel, girl!) I actually like writing in the dark. For some very strange reason it keeps me focused and relaxed. Too weird? Maybe. I love listening to music! *swoons* Thank you for writing this post, it was very helpful and gave me good writerly tips to use for my own (messy) environment!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chocolate are a MUST for writing success. I write best in the evening, I think, but I basically write whenever I can slip the time in. And did you quote Moriarty? I TOTALLY NOTICED. I actually learned to use lyrical music because I thought Lorde fit the vibe too well. My secret is to listen to it on loop until I don’t notice the lyrics, even if I’m singing along.

    I don’t use a rewards system, but I log my progress on a site called myWriteClub. It’s in beta, but it’s fabulous for keeping yourself accountable.

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  4. Annie, I love this post. Especially because so many little things about your writing routine are known to me by now. One of my favorite things about online friendships is “following” what friends are doing throughout the day. Your notebooks look so happy and colorful. I admire you for writing longhand. I love, love, love your desk.

    Basically, this whole post is wonderful. *hugs it to self* And your writing is wonderful, too.

    And thank-you for the tag!! I can’t wait to do this, hopefully on Tuesday. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great answers! I’ve seen a couple other bloggers I follow pick up this tag, so I might do it in the future. It’s nice to see writing tags, too – there aren’t that many out there!

    “Ideally, it would be epic if I could get up at 5 o’clock every morning and write for hours. Am I crazy much?”

    Not at all. 😉 I can go for several hours on a weekend day once I’ve had breakfast. But I’d love to be able to do that on a full-time basis one day.

    I’m also a tea writer; I need to have a cup ready when I sit down to start writing, and I’ll take breaks to make fresh cups throughout the session.

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  6. Peppermint patties are the best type of chocolate ever! I highly approve of your taste in chocolate. *nods excessively*

    I so admire you being able to handwrite all your books and still finish two books a year. I do all of my novel writing on a computer, but I do all of my plotting and short story writing in my notebooks. I do want to try handwriting a whole novel someday, though. I know it will be slow work, but I think it will also allow me to focus more on what exactly I’m writing instead of spewing word vomit out as fast as I can without actually thinking. I love your notebooks, too! They are so colorful and bright!

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      1. So. I had no clue you were writing a Sleeping Beauty retelling. EXCUSE ME WHILST I DO A DANCE OF HAPPINESS. Is it for the Rooglewood story contest?

        I am so glad you started rewriting it by hand, because, YES. It is a magical experience. I’m not even sure how to describe it…. something about actually creating the words as you go… It’s beautiful. ^_^

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      2. Yes, I am writing it for the Rooglewood contest, although I’m severely behind since I have restarted three times. I finally think I have got the plot nailed down right, though. I can’t even describe the magic of handwriting a novella either. It makes my writing a little less hastier, and thus better quality, I think, and I get this wonderful sense of accomplishment from seeing the pages fill up one by one in my notebook. Also, I’m having so much fun with this novella than I’ve ever had with any novel!

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