Writing Process

Rebeca Seitz gives insight into her “writing process.”

Lots of people have asked about my writing process. I try not to laugh out loud – are they implying I’m organized enough to have a process? Aside from wishing I had some scholarly-sounding answer that would ensure my identity as a high-brow literary maven, I usually smile, mutter some inane answer, and move on to the next question.

Yet, with each new novel, I become more aware that a process has formed. It typically goes something like:

  1. Sign contract for novel and promise to produce it in three months.
  2. Thank God for another miracle.
  3. Dance around the house singing, “I’m a rock star! Somebody’s handing me money to tell a story!”
  4. Assure children Mommy has not lost her mind.
  5. Call friends and family to answer, “When’s the next book coming out?”
  6. Go to bed with new characters yammering for attention in my mind. Tell them we need our sleep.
  7. Wake up, consume gallons of caffeine, get husband off to work, son off to preschool, and pray baby sleeps while I settle in to my comfy desk chair.
  8. Re-read first three chapters of manuscript written for proposal. Begin chapter four.
  9. Stare at computer screen.
  10. Tell characters, “Okay, y’all can talk now. What were you telling me last night?”
  11. Wait for characters to speak.
  12. Remember advice of Scholarly Research and Writing Book to write, even when muse is silent. Type, “I wish you people would talk to me.”
  13. Feel chastised by SRWB for not typing more and amend to, “I wish you people would talk to me now.”
  14. Hear baby crying, get her up and dressed. Go back to laptop.
  15. Decide to check inbox (main job’s work).
  16. Lose 2.2 hours to inbox.
  17. Re-read first sentence for chapter four. Delete stupid sentence. Go back to main job’s work.
  18. Forget manuscript for rest of the day. Comfort myself with, “You have three chapters. Only need 75,000 more words.”
  19. Repeat these words for next two months, resulting in 15,000 more words.
  20. Deadline four weeks away. Calculate word count to complete 60,000 more words within time period.
  21. Divide daily word count by gallons of caffeine in house. Determine a dangerous shortage exists.
  22. Go to grocery store. Stock up on caffeine. Resolve to begin writing in earnest the next morning.
  23. Re-resolve the next night and the next night and the next…
  24. Approach husband in panic. “I’m never going to finish in time! I can’t write! Too many distractions in this house! I’ll be the laughingstock of the publishing house. Of the industry! I’m a fraud, a nobody!  We’ve already spent the advance!  We’ll be bankrupt!”
  25. Consider slapping smile off husband’s face until he says, “I’ll watch the kids this weekend. You go away and write.”
  26. Decide husband is Best Man to Ever Walk Planet.
  27. Saturday morning, pack up laptop and head to local library.
  28. Plug in iPod, pull up manuscript.
  29. Write 20,000 words. Go home.
  30. Write 10,000 words while hubby watches sci-fi show and kiddos sleep.
  31. Sunday afternoon, pack up laptop and head to university library.
  32. Write 20,000 words. Go home.
  33. Write 10,000 words while hubby watches History Channel show and kiddos sleep.
  34. Write final chapter, type, “The End.”
  35. Feel fog lift and realize I have finished a novel. God still performs miracles.
  36. Go to bed happy.
  37. Wake up. Turn on laptop, pull up manuscript. Decide it’s too awful to send.
  38. Re-read first sentence of chapter one and enjoy the surprise that it’s pretty okay.
  39. Re-read entire manuscript. I don’t remember typing half of this.
  40. Email manuscript to editor.

This post first appeared on Sisters, Ink  as “Writing Process.”  Used with kind permission.

By day, Rebeca Seitz is an entertainment publicist and literary agent who specializes in novels, story-centric nonfiction, and motion picture projects created from a Christian worldview. She does this through her work with Glass Road Public Relations, the firm she founded in 2005, and GRPR’s partnership with The Sam Hill Group, owned by Emmy-winning director Steven Feldman. By night, Rebeca spins tales and has snowed two publishers been blessed to have five of her novels published thus far, one from Thomas Nelson and four from B&H Publishing Group, the publishing division of LifeWay. Contact her at Rebeca.

Rebeca Seitz will teach a seminar “The Publicity Process & Powerful Strategies” on October 9th in Bothell. See the NCWA website for more information.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Writing Process

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Writing Process « Northwest Christian Writers Association -- Topsy.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s