Wednesday, 12 August 2015

One at a Time or Multiples? How Do You Approach Writing Projects?

I have been making an effort to write regularly for almost 4 years now.  In that time, I completed and submitted a draft historical romance novel to a publishing company.  I have also begun work on several other projects. I find my style helps me avoid writer's block.  I have enough on the go that when it's time to write, there is always something I want to add to one project or another.

I began a memoir about parenting a child on the autism spectrum through elementary and high school. That work will remain in progress for a while, as my Aspergirl is just entering grade 9 this year. My daughter approves this project and thinks it is a good way to offer other parents hope about what is possible when the challenges sometimes seem overwhelming.

I have won NaNoWriMo both times I attempted it, and have two 50,000+ word novels waiting for revision and refinement. I can't wait for November to roll around again!

I completed a rough draft of another novel, not a romance at all, but a look at the toll taken by some of the professional caregivers in our communities.

I've started a sequel to the first historical romance novel. It feels like this may become a trilogy as there is one more character whose story arc begs for completion.  What fun this is, as I get to spend more time in the fictional little community I fell in love with writing the first story.

I have one more little project begun, a modern romance being written for fun.  It's not very far along yet, but it captures my attention now and again.

How do you approach writing projects?  Do you stick with one start to finish, or is your habit more like mine, hopping from idea to idea, working on what inspires you from day to day, week in and week out?

Monday, 3 August 2015

The Idea Files

Are you like me?  Do you have notebooks, file folders (and digital versions of these storage methods) full of snippets of ideas?

I'm forever jotting points down - whether it is in one of my standard lined notebooks, a special journal, a scrap of paper, on an app or in a word processing file.  I try to capture fragments and phrases that I hope will mean something to me when I pull them out and look at them again.  I call these my idea files.  It's not a particularly original title for a collection of sort-of-original thoughts, but it captures the essence.

Do you get back to the ideas in your collection of inspiration?  Can you make use of them?

I have found that in trying to cultivate a regular writing practice, these ideas have been handy from time to time.  Usually, I have some project that I can't wait to write about when I have time.  But sometimes I have the time and no outline in mind.  This is when my little cache of notes proves its worth.  I can choose a topic that has grabbed me before if it moves me again, or I may find myself inspired about a new tangent as I read through my scattered notes.

Are you feeling blocked?  Remember to take a look through your own idea files.  It may be just the inspiration you need to get going again.