Creative Writing Daily


There are so many distractions, responsibilities and commitments that it makes daily writing difficult and sometimes impossible. I love my family life and I've been blessed to be able to write and work while still maintaining that. A novelist acquaintance (best-selling writer) was very supportive when we spoke about this. I mentioned I read somewhere that Maria Semple (Where'd You Go Bernadette) wrote between drop-off and pick-up and she said that so did Barbara Kingsolver. Agatha Christie said the best time to plan a novel is while doing the dishes. I am part of the, writing between drop-off and pick-up club. Dishes? Meh. I actually don't mind cleaning and doing laundry but I am not a fan of cooking. It is just never something that I've ever liked. I do enjoy baking and come from a long line of excellent pie bakers. I've also been known to cause a few disasters in the kitchen. My wonderfully supportive husband really was strongly opposed to me buying a pressure cooker for fear I would blow up the house. I relented because, well, his fear isn't entirely unfounded. I relented because we've been married a long time (double-digits years but who's counting?) and he knows me well. He was there the time the microwave exploded, the time I scalded beans and there was a black soot all over the kitchen, and the time I somehow decided I had to be absolutely faithful to a recipe and for a holiday dinner served chicken baked in $50 a bottle Clicquot champagne. My mother-in-law (a European) said nothing. A few years later she said, "why didn't we drink the good stuff and bake with something the cheap stuff?" And I laughed. I never really thought about it, because I wasn't a big drinker. I do like "bubbly" however. Toni Morrison said when she was writing her novel by the time her draft was done, her houseplants had died. The point is - Amazon delivery is your friend.

This is reality people. Take care of the living humans in your life, and your furry ones and pets, but order out, let the laundry pile up, and drink the expensive champagne. This is writing. It's hard. I love it. I can't live without it. Sometimes it flows and is great. However, it is work and requires a work commitment.

My writing daily essentials: generally the same routine, eliminating distractions. I don't check social media until later in the day. And let's face it, when you're at work (writing is work, after all) other things will have to take care of themselves for a time. Writing requires intense focus and commitment. So do revisions. I love writing. It's been a huge part of my life. I can't imagine not doing it. I think continuous writing, daily or weekly, is important. This isn't just because it's easier to focus, and hold my story in my head, it's because it also helps to keep the inner-critic at bay. Self-doubt always creeps in, in my experience, and daily writing practice kicks it to the curb. I write with a playlist, ambient sounds like rain or a crackling fireplace, helps focus.

I try to read too, I do a ton of research when writing historical. It's easy to fall down research rabbit holes. It can't really be avoided so I just a lot the time to research. It's the fuel of my writing.

I could write a lot of blogs on this but, in fact, since I'm writing, submitting, and developing stories, my blog posting is going to be sparse. At the end of the day, you just have to do it. 

Always with coffee. I do like a good Earl Gray but coffee is key. Coffee. Yes, coffee. Ahh....

rainy white crane.JPG

I am also in a Thoreau Walden Pond milieu right now, having traded it from desert drought and I am as happy as can be to have a pond in my back yard with an incredible (incredible) array of waterfowl. It's always a drama in my back yard. The ducks are quacking, the Canadian geese are splash landing, and the Bald Eagles occasionally swoop by. There are the cutest wood ducks, pileated woodpeckers, gorgeous Blue Herons and a majestic white crane. This means something to me since my protagonist, a female sleuth, is an expert in White Crane Kung Fu.

I have an awesome family, awesome support and that helps a ton. I believe in luck and blessings too. I am sending some your way. Cheers!