Good Morning, Creatives!
It’s Friday, my friends! The week is over, a weekend of rest is (hopefully) ahead of us, and for some, maybe a little extra time to write! This week I have been thinking a lot about the process behind a writer’s routine and how different it can be for each and every one of us. I spent some time talking with a friend this week who is a songwriter and a musician, and it was so fun to compare our processes and see the similarities and the differences! What a cool parallel!
I’ve spent a lot of time developing my process over the years. What works to get me writing, what helps, and what distracts and discourages. I’m nowhere near perfecting my process by any means, but what I’ve learned has helped me so much!
Usually, when I start writing in the morning (because I am most definitely an early bird), I like to take a minute before I open my computer and ask the Master Storyteller to come and sit with me. God has always been a huge part of my writing routine, and I’ve found that my best ideas come when I am in line with my Creator.
Then, depending on where I’ve left off the day before, I either jump straight into writing or outline my scene in my notebook. Sight, sound, taste, touch, and a brief sequence of events all get dumped into a page of scribbling, then I feel prepared to get started.
My Struggles Within That
No system is perfect! Some of the ways I’ve struggled with getting myself started in the morning are because I spend that bit of extra time outlining in my notebook—if I finish a scene and want to keep going, I have to pull myself out of my rhythm to go back and outline the next scene. Not always convenient!
What gets you started for a writing session? Do you have a thing, or series of things, that you do to get your head in the game and get yourself moving? I’d love to hear about it, and any tips or tricks you’ve learned over the years! Tell me about them in the comments!
5 thoughts on “Coffee Dates: Process”
I like do a large chunk of writing in the morning and my prep and basically shove coffee and food in my body and start XD. I think starting with prayer though and is a very good way to start
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Coffee and food always help! I am also very much the morning writer. You don’t find too many of those! Very cool!
I’m a morning writer, too- morning nap time writer that is! ☺️ So in order to take advantage of every second, I lay her down and grab my laptop and reheat my cup of coffee and grab a snack of nuts and fruit or chocolate and get down to business. I come out of my zone when my little bug starts talking or yelling at me a couple hours later. I don’t have much of a process these days, but I think I’m mentally prepared at nap time because I’ve established this rhythm. I look forward to it most days. 🙂
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Yay! I’m so glad to see you here! Thanks for coming by!
Nap time is the best time to write! When I nanny and the kids go down for their nap, my mind is instantly prepared to get as much done as I can possibly manage before they wake up again. That’s such a good trigger for your writing zone!
Writing with a kid is so, so hard! I’m so impressed that you manage it, and do so well in it! It’s all about the little bits of time we can sneak away, isn’t it?
I am definitely a night bird. My creativity has always kicked in toward late evening, so I try to make sure I’ve done what I can to clear my mind before I sit down to write. I get any big chores out of the way, so I’m not distracted by things I need to get done.
When I sit down to write, it helps to have a good beverage, some music in the background, and sometimes, a prop or two. It could be as simple as a hat, or maybe my penguin costume, or possibly my sword a friend gave me.
I’m not inclined toward religious rituals, but prayer is something of a constant attitude for me as I write. That is, I don’t pray before I write, but my attitude in writing is to honor God in what I write. That starts with telling a good story to the best of my ability, showing people as they are.
I firmly believe we can learn truth from anything, though that doesn’t give us license to indulge anything and everything as entertainment. The movie “The Butterfly Effect” has a lot of horrible content, in the sense of what happens to the characters, but after I saw it the first time, it made me think a lot about how God “operates,” and the nature of free will versus predestination, among other things.
Where some writers who are Christians feel led to write clean fiction, I wrestled with not writing clean fiction, and came to see many stories in the Bible are filled with “adult content.” Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t mean we should follow the example of those who did those things.
One of those stories is in Judges 3, where Ehud stabbed Eglon, the king, to deliver Israel from oppression. The story is graphic and violent, but shows–in a way–the severity of the wrath of God. Prior to his death, Eglon had been strengthened by God to punish Israel for their sin, but then Israel was delivered through his death.
In a way, I write Ehuds and Davids, men of violence who rise up against Eglons and Goliaths, but not for the sake of glorifying violence. Very often I am drawn to characters who want peace, but who are willing to make difficult choices in morally uncomfortable situations to achieve peace. I am also compelled to show the consequences those characters live with as a result of their actions.
In a way, I experience the same discomfort as my characters, because I live among a lot of fellow Christians who look at my work and say, “A Christian shouldn’t write that.” Respectfully, I disagree. Just as the Bible shows us those uncomfortable situations, we should recognize similar uncomfortable situations take place today, and I think we’re meant to wrestle with them.
This comment is going on long because brevity and I don’t seem to get along, but one more thing: recently my Bible study group went over a story in which God commanded His army to slaughter everything in the city, down to the livestock. A friend brought up the question of why merciful, loving God would command such a thing. I won’t say I have *the* answer, but I think the question is a good one, and I can see how it relates to what I write.
This is a topic I love to examine, but I’ll stop there.
*sips his coffee and waddles away from his podium-soap-box thingy*
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