My Writing Process Tag

In making my plans to return to the blogosphere I told myself I wasn’t going to do any tags right away, and when I did I would limit it to maybe one or two a month. Then after one lovely day of surfing around Author-Tube I stumbled upon this awesome writer focused tag created by The Bookish Penbabe. So yeah, the plan of not doing a tag post right away went straight out the window. What appealed to me most about this tag is how in depth it is and focused on the actual writing process. Now I know, she literally named this ‘My Writing Process Tag’ – but a lot of writing tags tend to lean on a fluffier cutesy theme with a limit of roughly ten questions. Not that those aren’t fun or informative, but this one just really stood out to me. So without further ado here I suggest you grab a cup of tea (or your choice of beverage) and keep on reading for my answers!

01. What genres do you write?
Horror! Oh the horror! It’s no secret by now that my upcoming debut, Collected, is horror. I also have a plethora of story ideas (both short and novel length) that are in the genre as well. However, Vini’s Story for example is a contemporary fiction piece and I have other ideas that don’t involve the horror genre. I really don’t like to limit myself creatively, but I admit horror is my focus genre.

02. What setting gets you the most productive?
I would have to say at my desk with a cup of hot tea. Seriously, tea (especially depending on the kind/flavor) can really invigorate my senses and charge me up. Plus as much as I admit that occasionally I do have to switch up my writing location for a bit (be it somewhere else at home or out in public somewhere), I really find myself mostly focused and productive when sitting at my actual desk.

03. If you have multiple story ideas, how do you go about picking which one to start on first?
If I’m starting with a fresh batch of ideas then I go with the one I feel the most inspired to write. I mean I can be pretty inspired for all projects I have cooking, but there’s usually one that stands out for me. I often deal with multiple projects so when I have them already in progress, I still tend to lean towards who I feel most inspired to work on – but I definitely strive to balance out the time to get the writing in for all works in progress!

04. Do you outline?
I’ve been into outlining a little bit more over the past year then I used to be, so yes. I do now. I didn’t always.

05. Do you start your first draft with pen and paper, typewriter, or computer?
When it comes to actual drafting I tend to jump on my laptop with a fresh word document. Mostly because I type faster than I write and when I get into my flow my fingers tend to fly. Now the initial concept ideas pre-draft, like brainstorming and such goes to the pen/pencil and paper route. I also take a lot of notes by hand during the creation process.

06. What do you do to get through writer’s block?
I could give you the cliché answers of reading, or watching Author-Tubers get excited about writing. While that can in fact be really helpful, sometimes when I find myself hitting a hard block I need to step away from the writing world for a minute. So as odd and silly as it sounds, beauty gurus and makeup are a happy place that remains to be creative and inspiring. It’s oddly been a countless amount of times when I’ve been sitting back diving into a makeup tutorial video by one of my favorite ‘gurus’ on YouTube getting lost in the love of makeup and find myself oddly inspired to get back into my own writing. I think it has something to do with (at least the ones I watch) getting so excited and inspired by their work and love of what they do – that I in turn find my insides filling to the brim with a new found excitement for my own work as a writer and thus the block gets broken up and I find myself happily back to work. Strange I’m sure, but eh it works for me.

07. Do you format your project from the beginning or worry about that later?
Formatting is new territory for me, especially as I work on approaching the publication area of writing this year. This has been something I put in the “to worry about later” category for quite some time now, but I’ve been looking into formatting tips and tricks and think it’s about time I start working on now verses later in projects.

08. Do you edit as you go or when you’re finished with the first draft?
Both! I’m totally guilty of this. I really try not to edit as I go in my first draft, but sometimes I just really can’t help it. It’s like there is this OCD editor that lives inside my brain who can’t possibly be completely shut off. Admittedly, even part of my NaNoWriMo drafting gets edited though I seem to do best during NaNo with shutting it off and just writing – it’s still there part of the time at least.

09. After finishing your drafts/manuscript how long do you give it a break before you start going back over it or do you give it a break at all?
A few days to a week tops, then I’m right back to work. I really don’t like to go too far away from a project until it’s complete. I know some writers suggest giving yourself a month or so off, but I just don’t have the patience for that when the passion and inspiration is right there.

10. Is there something that you prefer to do to get you through writing? (Playing music, tv, having your favorite drink, or food)
Tea! Tea! Tea! Seriously sipping on a nice hot cup of tea always adds to my writing flow. I also love to light a nice scented candle. Peanut M&Ms are a consistent on my desk for big writing sessions and sometimes, yes Pepsi gets added into that mix as well. Granted I really am continuously working to cut back majorly on the pop (that’s soda for you non-Michiganders) for getting healthier purposes – it still gets consumed. As far as music, not when I’m working on a story. This is the same with movies or television. I really prefer silence during story writing.

11. Do you schedule your writing sessions?
Not really. Sometimes I’ll try to plan ahead and schedule a block of time for myself. It usually never works out when I do that (oh life), but I do manage to sit down pretty daily and get some words in. So that’s always a bonus.

12. Do you have word count or chapter goals for your writing sessions?
It depends on how far into the project I’m in. Right now I’ve been doing chapter goals with Collected. As I’ve been revising and editing. However when I am first drafting I sometimes set a word count goal for myself.

13. Are there any quirky things you do to make your projects more fun?
As soon as I have a title I do like to make a mock cover for the project that I print out for my project binder. Yep, I’m so that person. It makes me feel motivated and more put together.

14. Do you work on multiple projects at one time?
All the freaking time! I really try not to do it, but I can’t help myself.

15. How often do you research what you’re writing?
It really depends on what I’m writing, to how much research I feel like I need to do to properly execute it. Some projects have definitely caused for more research than others.

16. How do you organize your projects?
Binders! Yes the 3-ring kind, but since I already have plans to share how I organize my binders in a future post I won’t go into too much detail right now.

17. Do you reward or punish yourself for achieving or missing out on your writing goals?
For mental health purposes I really try not to “punish” or get too hard on myself for not meeting a goal during a session. I do try to reward myself a little bit when I do achieve my bigger goals. Depending on the size of the goal kind of depends on how I’ll opt to treat myself upon accomplishment.

18. Are there any works similar to your projects that you look for and use – for inspiration and/or comparison?
I really try not to compare my projects too much to those written by others. I do however like to find inspiration within the genre I’m working on. Whether that’s through reading, watching movies, or some other odd ball way that my brain works to latch onto something and create fresh inspiration.

19. How early do you wait to start looking for and hiring editors?
So I’ve already started looking around at options, but I don’t plan (at this point) to officially hire an editor until I have my manuscript ready to roll their way. I may handle this much differently with future novels, but where I’m at right now this is just kind of how I’ve opted to handle this one.

20. If you’ve finished a first draft or a manuscript. Tell us how you felt afterwards. (Pick your favorite) If you’re not through the first draft yet tell us how you’re feeling about it at the moment.
So I really doubted my abilities for a long time. Battling depression and anxiety my whole life (no joke), it was always really easy to let self-doubt enter the picture. The first time I really completed whole draft was in November of 2016 when I wrote my original draft for Vini’s Story. I was so excited and pumped that I cried. Yep. Tears of joy and a new leaf of self-confidence entered the picture. Self-doubt got pushed out of the way and it was a moment that I realized I could really do this. I could actually set out to write and finish a novel.

21. Tag someone!
I’m going to tag just a couple people on this one, but please feel free to participate and link back if you do this tag! I tag The Haunted Wordsmith and Antiquarius!

Well there you have it folks! My Writing Process Tag is complete and hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading my answers. Like I said just above I’ve only tagged a couple people, but I strongly encourage you to participate if you’re a writer and definitely feel free to share the link in the comments below!

Jane Ridgewood

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