In which I talk about my writing process, which is different depending on whether I’m writing poetry, blog posts, or novels.
I had the honour of guest posting today on Carol J Forrester’s lovely blog, Writing and Works. I talked about my journey towards seeing poetry as a way to express myself, where I get my inspiration, and I then shared one of my poems. You really ought to go have a look at her other posts. In my opinion, it’s among the best poetry blogs I follow.
I thought today I could talk a little about my writing process, and since I didn’t touch on it in the guest post, I’ll start with my poetry writing process.
While I can’t stand to write novels or stories by hand (my hand doesn’t go fast enough and I end up leaving words out), I cannot imagine typing poetry directly onto a computer. For me, it has to be on paper, with a pen (no pencils.)
I will write the poem over and over again until I get it right, often starting over mid-poem, changing a little bit each time. It is the most inefficient way to write, but it works for me.
One of my recent poems, “I’m Fine (I’m Drowning)” ended up being rewritten 7 times, which is about average, for me. I could still probably rewrite it again and be happier with it, but there comes a point where I must decide, enough. It never can be perfect.
When I get an idea for a blog post, I write it down in the journal that is always sitting handily on my desk. I’ve got a whole list of post ideas in there.
Alternatively, I’ll open up a new post in WordPress, type out the title and a rough outline, and save it in drafts for later. The title I put at this stage usually isn’t the one that ends up on the finished post. It’s just something to remind me what the post is about, especially when I’m saving it in drafts for later.
When I’m ready to write a blog post, I start from the beginning and work to the end. There’s nothing really exciting or glamourous about how I do it. I then open up the preview and read through it as it would look when it’s published, making edits as I go. I usually retitle the post right before posting it, because by then I have a better idea of what exactly it’s about.
The last thing I do is to put a featured image. If I’ve truly got nothing, I sometimes use a stock image. On my other blog, for example, I use stock images almost exclusively. (Here’s a great resource if you need some. I’ve got this on my bookmarks bar.) You may have noticed that a lot of my featured images are just pictures of my desk. That’s because when I’m truly at a loss, I often end up photographing my desk. So now you know, if you want to add a picture to your post but have no idea what to add, just take a picture of your desk. It’s not unprecedented, because I’m making it a thing. You’re welcome.
I rarely schedule my posts ahead of time, even though I do have a planner set aside just for my blog. I’m a planner who hates sticking to the plan. It’s the part of me that loves structure battling against the rebellious part of me that hates being told what to post.
*sweats nervously* I mean, I have a process, but it’s still evolving. I’ll get back to you on this one.
I tend to edit as I go, and I’m really, really, really trying to break that habit. It’s a bad habit. It’s a self-judgemental habit. It’s a creativity-stifling habit. It’s a habit that makes it really hard to develop a writing habit.
I’m also working on not being a pantser anymore. I need to outline because not outlining might work for some people, but it ain’t working for this girl anymore.
Don’t forget to check out Carol J Forrester‘s lovely blog!
Tell me about your writing process (or, if you’re like me, writing processes, dependent on what I’m writing) in the comments!
And have a lovely day!