Me? I’m neither. I’m a cooker. Literally and figuratively. I love to cook, bake, grill, you name it. I’m obsessed with Pinterest and Allrecipes. I stew—pun intended—over a recipe and think about how I can make it my own by adding a dash of this, a splash of that, or what healthy substitutes I can use in place of butter or sugar. It’s fun, but I don’t like to be rushed in my food planning. When I make my way to the kitchen, I know I have all the ingredients and have even figured out the final presentation of my masterpiece. My end product is typically what I had envisioned, but sometimes while I’m in the heat of the moment—pun intended…again—I think of a new something special to add.
And I do the same with my writing. I spend months thinking about my characters and all of their goals, motivation and conflicts—what drives them, scares them, and empowers them. Much to my husband’s dismay, I don’t think about him when I go to bed. Instead, I toss and turn, thinking about my characters and what sort of obstacles are going to get in their way and how they’re going to over come them. I typically run through the book a few times in my mind before I type a single word of the story. Then, when I have time (ha!), I sit down and let the words flow. My stories have thus far stayed on track, but a new idea or character may maneuver into the story along the way. I’m flexible like that. J
My first drafts aren’t very pretty. I know some writers who hem and haw and take hours to write a few paragraphs, but what they’ve written is beautiful and needs little revising. Me? I’d get too bogged down trying to coming up with the perfect metaphor and then life would happen, I’d get distracted with Facebook, Pinterest, or my kids, and all writing would cease. So instead of stressing over the little details, I get the words on the page before going back to make it pretty. I can handle life’s distractions because I know where I’m going.
This process has worked well for me (not so much for my husband). I love being able to sit in front of my laptop and write five thousand words in a few hours. There is no such thing as a perfect recipe; everything, whether it be chocolate cream puffs, carrot ginger soup, or my next book can be modified. But I like to have a vision of where I’m going, what I need to make it happen, and what it’s going to look like in the end.
And then I make myself a fancy drink (that I’ve found on Pinterest and tweaked) and celebrate my accomplishment