Ladies (and Gentlemen?) your friend Lime has been a busy girl today, as you can see! First, there was The Gown post – and Evil Weddings of DOOM. It’s a pretty awesome post, and if you ever had to buy a dress for something… or had an iffy dress – you must check it out. Next, Shiloh Walker stopped by! And then… I talked about Childhood Hunger at Home. Posts one and three were to have gone live on Saturday, April 14 while I was at the EDWoD. Which is why this post happened. There are giveaways with Laura’s gown post, Shiloh’s Post, and the Saturday post.
And/but to round it all out… A post from author Stefanie Sloane. This… was quite the ordeal. I only just got the post this past Tuesday – and then of course I had computer issues! Along with a number of mix ups, drama, etc… – but it’s here! Yay!
Writers, you will find, talk a lot about their process. I learned this at an early age while listening to my mom chat the hours away with fellow writers at a used bookstore in our hometown. Admittedly, I didn’t pay much attention at the time. After all, I wasn’t a writer, nor did I intend to be one in the near future—really in any future.
So you would think that in 2008, while the ink was still drying on my first book contract, some small, shiny twinge of recollection would resurface and whisper in my ear, “maybe NOW is the time to think about process. Since, you know, you’ll need one to finish your books.” It didn’t, and even if it had, I’m sure that I would have found a way to ignore it. I was still just young enough to believe that I could, and would, not only finish the books but do a remarkably fine job of it without overthinking anything.
Process, according to Dictionary.com, finds its origins in Middle English, introduced sometime between 1275 – 1325 and adapted from Latin for “a going forward.” My first three books were an absolute whirlwind of “a going forward.” From a partial to three complete novels in two years meant long hours, hard work, and barely enough time to eat and sleep. No stopping to smell the flowers, let alone pondering the existence of my process. Who cared? I was tremendously proud of the work—still am.
And then I turned to book four. The second set of three books started out just as the first three, the plan coming together within a matter of days, a synopsis written, and the go ahead from my editor received.
And then? And then I stared at a blank computer screen.
And stared at it some more.
I’m not really a person prone to dramatics. Don’t get me wrong; something was up, that much I knew. But it would do me no good to cry or shake my fist at the unfairness of it all. At least, not all on my own. So I phoned my agent. And I phoned my editor. And I cried and shook my fist—the other hand, obviously, since I was holding the receiver. Being the ridiculously smart women that they are, both offered up the answer: the culprit, it seemed, was my process. “A going forward” implies growth. A leap, albeit a small one at times, in perspective and wisdom.
Frick. My process had something to teach me. Which meant, of course, that I not only had to first identify said process, but then be willing to learn from it.
I also had a book to write. Bad timing, process! Bad timing, indeed. But try as I might, book four refused to be written. And so, I checked myself into a hotel (you thought I was going to say a mental hospital, didn’t you?!), surrounded myself with silence, Sprite, and Skinny Cow candy, and figured everything out.
Well, not everything. World peace, as it turns out, is tricky.
But my process? You bet, at least partially. As with most anything worth the time, one’s process has an annoying habit of morphing—or growing, if you will. Or even better, of “going forward.” Which not only tidily wraps up my guest post by pounding my point into your brain, but means there’s more introspection, more tears, more fist shaking, more fears in my future. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ms. Sloane is very generously offering up all four of her Regency Rogue books to one lucky person! That’s right, you could be the lucky owner of a bright shiny new copy of The Devil in Disguise, The Angel in My Arms, The Sinner Who Seduced Me, and The Saint Who Stole My Heart.
Are you a writer? Did this sound familiar? If not a writer – what’s your process for… anything? Do you have a process? Like the peeks into a writer’s life? Tell me something. Anything! Do you like historical romances? Did you have a good day? Comment to win! (Giveaway “rules” can be found here.)