• Dakota Rebel

Obligatory Writing Process Post

I don't know why we authors feel the need to share our processes with you. I mean, it's incredibly fascinating to us, hearing how other writers handle their craft. But do you, dear reader, actually care how I get the words on the screen? I mean, I assume someone must, if we keep sharing these "secrets" with you. So, here it is. In case you're curious.

As far as I can tell from reading Twitter and Facebook and every book on the writing craft I can get my hands on, I am an anomaly. Many a writer has stated that it's best to write every day. There are groups devoted to not breaking the chain, keeping in touch with your WIP (work in progress) every single day so you don't lose momentum.

I cannot work this way.

For me, I tend to write hard, fast and dirty. I'll knock out 10,000 words in a single day, then not touch the book for a month. Sometimes two. The 8th book in the Touch of Gray series? I started that in 2018, and didn't touch it until I blasted out the last 6k in two and a half hours on March 31st of 2019.

This drives my author friends nuts. In a good way, I mean. They are all super supportive. But I had to admit to my best friend the other day, that I often feel shame posting my word counts on sprint groups. (These are groups of authors on Facebook and Twitter who commit themselves to writing in hour long "sprints" and share their word counts seeking encouragement.)

See, we authors are all different. It's pretty standard, if there is a standard, for authors to post work counts between 400 and 1000 words per hour. Then I post 2800 words for my hour and it makes me feel bad. Not because of my progress, but because I'm afraid it looks like I'm showing off. I promise you, I am not.

For the most part, we all get our 10k a month or whatever. I just do it in one day, and they do it in twenty. The end result is the same. But I feel squiggy sharing that shit on social media, so for the most part I have stopped participating.

My process is different, and that's okay. I've decided to stop letting anyone tell me how I should achieve my goals. We in the author community are all driving toward the ends of our books. And no one gets to tell us the right way to get there. If your goal is 2500 words per day, and mine is 2500 words per hour, that's great! Either way.

I refuse to feel shame for something that, let me be very clear here, NO ONE IS SHAMING ME FOR.

All of this is internal, and I'm done. I am proud of the way I write. It makes me feel good to end a day of writing with a quarter of a book done. But the flip side of this, is that I won't touch it again for weeks. WEEKS! That's the thing about writing, everyone will tell you it's a marathon, not a sprint, to the end. And when I do marathons that involve 10k days, I need recovery time. Very rarely will I end a 10k day, get up tomorrow and do another 10k. I usually cannot. My muse, my brain, my heart...they're tapped out. They need to rest and recuperate.

It's the same slow process to get a book finished. It takes me just as long as it takes everyone else. I just write in bigger chunks with longer breaks.

So, that's my process. I go hard and burn myself out one day every few weeks.

Does that help anyone? Nope. But just in case anyone was curious about my process, there you go.



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