Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Every ten weeks or so, I go through the process. I drive an hour to the cool city. Park in the pay lot. Walk to the chic yet approachable salon and have my hair done by the girl with the mermaid tattoo. The hair is a process. She mixes the color. Grabs the foils. Then we process. Endlessly. About my kids, my job, my life, her acting, if her house has had any offers, and lately about her new girlfriend.

Today I learned about said girlfriend's process of writing plays. Yes, she is a local playwright. Her process hinges around pressure and a deadline. She will actually book a venue AND cast the actors, all before ever setting pen to paper. Then she writes her play in a frenzy. The girl with the mermaid tattoo says that the play then interrupts their lives at the strangest moments. They might be talking about who's cleaning the bathroom when said girlfriend will say "You know what could happen in the play..."

It got me thinking about my own process and how I get from first sentence to the end. Long drives in the car help. My characters come to life in my imagination as the wheels turn. I imagine scenes and situations. Sometimes I hear voice, though that usually happens when fingers touch the keyboard. I take notes. Little rambly squiggles that make no sense to anyone but me. Shorthand fiction. I don't verbalize very much about my writing ideas. Somehow they seem ridiculous when spoken out loud.

When writing I have to act things out. I have to put my hands on the imaginary steering wheel and turn the car. Then stop and think "How do I write that?" More and more I'm doing research ahead of time. That's new for me. It helps some. Sometimes I wonder if it gets in the way.

So what's your process?


  1. Thanks for visiting Pets & Their Authors, J.Ro!

    Happy Holidays!

    I'm your new follower. I hope you'll follow back.:-)

  2. I think I did, but I'll double check. Merry christmas to you too!

  3. My writing process starts with napping while Wiggles naps on my lap. Oh, I seriously set aside the early evening hours to get my thought saved into the computer.

  4. Mostly I sit stll and wait but poems come at all kinds of odd times and often, like you, when I am driving. I call home and leave myself messages with lines that arrive when I have no pen and paper. I am very aware that poems come from some mysterious place..I only cut, paste and polish.

  5. I love devine inspiration in writing. I had a picture book come to me fully formed in the middle of the night. I wrote from 2-3, went to sleep, came home the next day from school totally curious about what I had written. It needed tweaking but was pretty good. How cool is that?


Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'