What I’m Writing This Week – A Process

Being self-published can sometimes be tricky.

I write because I love it – and I’m hopefully good at it! But the reality is, that with most people who write books, you can’t just spend all day every day writing that book. You’ve got to make some pennies somewhere. For me it’s copywriting, blogging and a few other projects, and as Christmas approaches I find myself being pulled more and more into the stuff I need to do, rather than the stuff I want to do.

But at the same time, when I do the stuff I want to do, I am suddenly very interested in the ironing pile or sorting out my sock drawer. I think that’s Mum guilt taking over.

It’s the same chicken and egg scenario for anybody who doesn’t write with an advance. If you don’t do the thing you’re being paid for, you’re never going to be paid for it. So what do I do? Have I made progress this week?

A little bit. I’m excited about my characters, but I’ve not written as much as I’d like, opting to make money so that I can buy furniture for my falling-to-bits bedroom. However, my brain is obviously not happy with this, because insomnia has kicked in, between bouts of staying awake (NOT CAUSED BY A CHILD!) I am being sucked into weird and not so wonderful dreams, mainly involving my characters. I’ve never experienced this before. Normally I have weird dreams and I get ideas from them, but this time I’m wrapped up in the story. It sounds a bit wanky when you put it like that doesn’t it?

So what now? With less hours (darn three school runs a day!) I have to prioritise my work, and set proper deadlines that I can hit. I know I work best to deadlines, it’s who I am. If I take my foot off the pedal, I grind to a slobbish, iPad on sofa, eating carbs kinda gal, and neither my scrivener or my waistline appreciate that so I’ve made a timetable. I’ve made a timetable and stuck it to my wall. I might show you it one day. Then I’ve opened scrivener and set a deadline. I need to tweak that deadline now that some extra work has come in and then I need to just write.

I’m also investigating dictation software on my iPhone (any good recommendations that could link into my mac?) I want to take full advantage of the time I spend in the car. My notepad is back by my bed, so that instead of just working my ideas out in my head I can jot them down (any excuse for a new notepad!) and I have assigned a friend to shout at me.

My process is simple. Write, write as if my life depends on it. Brain dump, and if I have a wobble send it to one or a couple of my favourite people who will give me a kick up the bum. Once that is done, it’s been postit notes in the past, but I was listening to Sophie Kinsella and Jane Green on Woman’s Hour the other day and Sophie mentioned using index cards so I’m going to steal that – that means I’ll be the next Sophie doesn’t it?

I want my next book out in time for the summer, so I really need to get cracking. I’m still tweaking my process, so if anyone wants to share theirs I’d love to hear it! Post below or write a blog post and let me have the link!

Take care, and see you next week!

This post is part of the “What I’m Writing” linky – this month hosted by Muddled Manuscript  go forth and join in.


Muddled Manuscript


  1. Chrissie (Kristina)

    Do the writing. Stop eating grilled cheese.
    Your characters are trying to tell you something. Scrivener can be daunting though. I don’t like looking at it either 🙁 maybe try a different editor?
    You must place a notepad in every room. (and a few spares because you just don’t know when you’re going to run out.) Thank you for linking to #whatimwriting again xx

  2. Maddy@writingbubble

    You know what? *whispers* I don’t actually use scrivener. I know – shocking right? Every writer I know does! And I keep thinking ‘oh I must do that’ but then the scrivener tutorial informed me ‘this should take you a couple of hours’ and I was like, A COUPLE OF HOURS?! So yes, I’m just writing my book in a bog standard office program and constantly getting irritated having to flick between files that I store in random places on my computer. That’s my process. I haven’t got to the end of my first draft yet. Maybe faffing around losing files is my form of ‘sorting out the sock drawer’.

    Your process obviously works for you since you’ve published books and I’m dead impressed that you plan on getting the next one out by summer time! Dictation software sounds like a good idea too. My last experience with anything like that was 15 years ago though and the thing just repeatedly wrote “Karl” no matter what I said. Presumably technology has moved on. Thanks for linking to #whatImwriting !

  3. Funky Wellies

    Glad to read I am not the only one with that dilemma!! 😉
    Life has a tendency to get in the way of writing, I need to ignore it and keep on writing my book, but I have yet to refine my process too…
    I am sorry I have no recommendation for a dictation software.
    Good luck with your summer deadline! xx

  4. Kate/WitWitWoo

    You need a PA, that’s what you need. Just email for more advice 🙂

    Seriously, I think a timetable sounds like just the thing for you – give yourself a schedule of hours when you can write things you want to write, and things you have to write. Keep me posted! x

  5. Carol Cameleon

    The only way I can truly get a control of my writing projects versus ‘life in general’ is by having, using and implementing (!) a writing diary, a sturdy notepad and a wad of paper held together with a bulldog clip. The latter is so raw and I love it! While its very difficult to give guilt the elbow some days, but I persevere 🙂 #whatimwriting

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