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Change In Process: Published Writers

I am very certain what my writing process is and how I do things. I've written about it a lot. I'm a big fan of writer processes and workflow. Recently, that has changed. I have not cut anything from my process (I do everything I always have done), I have just added to it as well.

I am blogging today because I cannot edit. My writing computer (a very old Mac) has decided that after ten years of faithful work, it needed a personal day. It has been in the shop for three days now. I had a nervous breakdown of sorts on Monday when it all happened. The hard-drive went out and I was so scared for all my writing. See, I get after my students when they don't back stuff up and lose work. Then I don't do it. Well, I have, but not since June. And there are a lot of short stories and edits I have made since then. So a new backup process is needed as well.

Speaking of editing...

I sent one of the three novels due in December to my publisher early. The editor probably took one look at it and sighed, banging her head against the desk. I am sorry, my faithful editor... I wrote too heavily in passive voice...for over 100K words. Well, naturally that cannot fly. She kindly asked that I revise and then send it back to her. I realized I probably did that in the other two novels as well. And, look! Yes, I did. Oh, dear. So I have three novels to edit (over 200K words) before the end of December...All while doing NaNoWriMo because I am not giving that up. I am also trying to outline for NaNo but that's hard when the rest of the outline is on the Mac.

So I have decided to change my writing process. I wrote a step-by-step guide for myself (otherwise I won't do it, I know myself) and printed it and pinned it above my desk. From now on, I will write a chapter (or scene or whatever) and I will not "be done writing" for the day until I edit for the list of things I wrote down. Now, this is obvious to some of you. Maybe not to others. Editing right away is not something I used to do. I would edit the next day before I wrote again. It would make more sense if I outlined my entire writing process, but that's for another time.

My point for now is: do not be afraid to change your process. You learn as you go and trying or doing something different is good for you and your writing. As writers, we like our ways and think our workflows are best. But in order to get better, you have to change and learn. I have learned a thing! And I am so happy about that! I am devastated that my computer is in the shop and I cannot edit, therefore putting me THREE DAYS behind my editing schedule. I hate not being able to write. Makes me anxious. But I need to keep calm, be cool, and re-plan. That's all. I am a master planner and I know I can get it done. And also implement my new process into next month for NaNoWriMo.


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