Happy Thursday to you and welcome to this the first in a planned biweekly (i.e. posting every second week) blog series that will focus on my writing process with my debut urban fantasy, Eléonore.
Today’s post is just an introduction more than anything, an explanation of sorts as to what I plan to explore, and what I hope to accomplish with it.
If you’re ready to embark on this journey with me – and I hope you are – then grab yourself a nice dark roast coffee and a Pouding Chômeur (that’s what Eléonore would recommend anyway 😊) and let’s get started.
In the long run…
What is the purpose of this series? Well, there might be a few purposes actually, but I’ll stick to the three main ones, shall I?
- To share with you the writing process that took me from idea to publication and beyond.
- To help inspire you on your own writing journey.
- To give back to the writing community that encouraged and supported me.
The craft of writing is a personal one. I believe that everyone has a method that works best for them and that, while those methods may coincide with the methods of others, no two people have the exact same process.
Why then am I sharing my writing habits with you?
Not so that you’ll make the exact same journey that I did. But so that you might find inspiration as you embark on and travel along your own writing path. Whether you’re on the final edit of your draft or just starting out with a new idea, I hope that my adventure might give you new insight or resonate with you in a way that can help you as you shape your own story.
And if nothing else, perhaps I will amuse you with these behind the scene anecdotes. 😉
Unfurl the blueprints…
I’ve been planning this series for quite some time. In mid-December, the idea came to me. As I mentioned already, I wanted to give back to a community that helped me when I was trapped in a rut. Sharing insight seemed like the best way I could do it. So I devised a plan, choosing which facets of writing I would want to focus on. Believe me when I say it’s extensive…
Here are just some of the topics I’ll be touching on…
- But which idea do I choose?
- Playing Sims on paper – building your world
- Silencing your Inner Editor… it’s the first draft after all
- The Novella – a short film for writers
- Beta Readers – let go that ego
- Inevitably, they will judge it by your cover
- Etc., etc., etc.
I think you get the idea. But here’s the thing friends. As much as I have this blueprint, I am a plantser in life as much as I am in writing. So if there’s any specific topic you want me to cover, you let me know and I’ll throw it in where I can. This is for you, after all – maybe a bit for me – and I want YOU to get the most out of this as you can.
Formatting with Style
So now you know what I’ll be covering. But how will I be covering it? Here’s what I’m hoping it will look like from week to week.
I’ll start with my process, the steps I took with Eléonore, the experience that I had, whatever little anecdotes and stories I can share with you that relate to the week’s topic.
Then I’ll look at the topic from a more general point of view. Looking at how it fits into the larger process. Looking at how you might want to tackle it.
For example, our topic in two weeks will be Choosing an Idea. How I chose to write Eléonore is actually a long story that starts with a girl making a vow to herself five years ago and ends with a girl realizing she only has four months left to keep a promise to herself. I’ll share the story of it with you, a story that’s unique to me and then I’ll explore with you the different ways you might stumble across that idea that sparks a passion in you, the story your ready to create, the story you need to create.
And then there will be a PDF for you to use. Somewhere you can build your ideas, if you so choose. Some will bear more pointed questions. Some will be geared more towards helping you develop character histories, plot structures, etc. It’ll depend on the topic.
As with the above, if there’s something you’d like me to focus on in a PDF, let me know, and I’ll arrange to include it.
PURSUING YOUR CREATIVITY
Phew! Still with me 😅
I had originally planned to start today on building an idea, but I recently started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, which inspired me to start on a topic that precedes even the conception of an idea… That is…
DECIDING TO WRITE!
The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
The first part of Gilbert’s book on creative living is devoted to courage. In it, she discusses the anxieties that hold us back from pursuing the creativity, those that are innate within us. Things like fear of failure, fear of being rejected, fear of being unoriginal, fear of judgement for the choice of writing… And the list goes on.
This section resonated with me, because I recognized that these were the chains that had held me back before Eléonore. I had been writing for fifteen years before the idea even came to me, but I was never able to share any of my stories with anyone and kept it close to my chest because I was afraid of how I would be received as an author. When I released this anxiety, I was able to devote myself to my writing. Not that the fear was gone. It was still there. But I decided that I had the courage to pursue my creativity despite it.
And you need to find that courage to. Whether you’re in the process of writing a book, published and working on your next one, or just starting out for the first time, chances are those anxieties are weighing on you. Maybe you’ve already discovered how brave you can be. Maybe you’re still looking for that bravery, that a-ha moment when you realize that you deserve better than to set limits for yourself.
Here’s what I’ve learned from my own experience. Life isn’t worth living in fear. If we let our anxieties hold us back, we’ll never experience the true wonders that life has to offer us. A leap of faith is sometimes demanded. And that goes for your writing as well. Trust in yourself in a bit, and be brave to pursue what makes you passionate.
You’ll be rewarded in the long run for it. Because you’ll have discovered just how brave you are. And that’s a lesson to take with you through life.
And once you decide that you’re brave enough to pursue your creativity, you can move on to finding that idea that motivates and inspires you and write the story in your heart.
Thanks for joining me on this first part of the journey, friends. What has your experience been with finding the courage to write? What are you hoping to gain from this series? Share in the comments 🙂
May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,