By The Harpy
(Pssst. It’s me. Julie Hutchings of The Undead Duo)
Well, my writing routine has flown the coop, like a goddamn hobbled chicken, flapping, trying to right itself, but always just falling over in a different direction.
This is no I’ve lost my fucking muse post. I am my own muse, and I banish the word from my vocabulary.
I’ve prided myself on my militant writing routine since day one of authordom. (That’s like Thunderdome for authors. You just fight yourself.) Getting up at 5 every day. Take the shower, get the coffee, sit your ass down and write for the 2 hours you have before the kids get up. In the course of three books, I never missed a self-imposed deadline. Held myself to a strict word count. If you want writing to be your job, treat it like one.
Well, then lil’ ol’ sequel shows up and fucks up the whole thing. I missed deadlineds I’d set. Some days I’d write 2500 words, other days 250. Sometimes none. I have a notebook that keeps getting thicker and thicker with side notes, post its, paperclipped shit. My habits haven’t been falling in line like I expect them to. At first I was a little freaked out, and angry, but now I laugh about it.
I’ve always gotten things done like a boss. Well, I’m a creator. An artist. The only way I can create something new is to let it go through its own growing pains, take me over, and forge its own way. To write every book with exactly the same process only confirms that you’re writing the same book over and over. No better. If your process doesn’t change, it allows no room to evolve.
So I broke my own rules, and I made new ones that I adhere to. I get up at 7 to write, and write late at night again, too, but only until I want to stop. Not until I hit a word count. I still write every day, but if I miss one I won’t torture myself over it. Rules are experiments. Writing is an experiment. You can’t do it the right way until you’ve tried the wrong ways first.
Creativity is a beast that the writer keeps on a long, frayed leash. My leash gets stronger every day in that I let it get weaker. Holding the reins too tightly does nothing except limit you. Be part of the experiment.