Monday 4 December 2017

My Rules Of Work - The Creative Process


I know that I've been around a lot of the writing world and seen these kinds of posts. The talk of special rituals or rules that the writer must complete before they can sit down to actually doing any writing. Early on in my writing journey, I had a similar kind of process until I realised that actually, all you gotta do is write. Therefore I wanted to do a piece today about how there are some rules I have before I get on to my writing day, but they're not really the kind you think of. I thought it'd be a fun little piece, so here we go. Joey's rules of work!

Now if you've read any of my books, you'll know that ninety-nine percent of my characters all drink tea. Copious amounts actually. It's an ongoing joke between my editor and I that she searches for the words "tea" and "cup" before she starts editing to see just how overboard I've gone. I'm trying to curb myself better now because it was getting silly! It makes me laugh though because both of my editors - my previous one and my current one - said the same thing. They don't know how much is part of the story and how much is me thinking: hmm, cups empty, better refill it!

I've got auditory processing disorder so I struggle sometimes with music as a whole. It's something I love, but not something I can excel at. I have various playlists and such, but I often find that where other writers talk of needing music, I usually don't. I also have some scenes where I can't have music because then nothing gets done. My brain is too busy trying to do the sound stuff that I can't focus on the writing stuff.

Like right now, I'm in the middle of a chapter, but I'm also writing this blog post, and talking to people on Twitter. I usually also have a conversation going with a friend, but she's gone for a nap. So I can manage to do both or several things at a time. I don't need to be completely focused on the writing for it to flow nicely. Sometimes yes, there will be times when the scene is really intense and I need that focus only on my writing, but other times, the majority of times, it's fine. That said, I can't talk and write. As in I can't hold a conversation orally and still be able to type.

Now the way I work, I don't do a set time every day. That's probably because I have the time to write when I want to. If I were also working a regular job, that would change I am sure. But when I choose to write, I'm never setting myself say, an hour to get it done. I know that I write best without deadlines and stress, so knowing that I don't put time constraints on my writing life. It just feels like an easy way for me to get stressed out over nothing.

Along with that fourth rule, I can always pause to nap, talk, or do something else for a while. I work like this because I can, something I know I am very lucky for. If I feel the need to nap but am knee deep in a chapter, I'm not going to push myself to the point of feeling like crap. My health comes before my writing, so if I need to take some time to relax or chill or sleep, I will and I won't feel even a tiny bit guilty about it.

So there you go, my five rules of writing. There's not a ritual that I have to go through. I generally open up Open Office, pull up my work and just write to my heart's content. Like I said, I did used to think you had to write at a special time of day and spend a certain amount of time doing so, but now I pretty much let my brain tell me when it's time to go, and when it's time to stop. Listening to your body, especially in my case, is always a good idea!

So, do you have any fun rules for writing? What are there? Let me know in the comments!

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