I am pleased to be hosting Day 5 of this 5-Day Virtual Book Tour for the National Writing for Children Center. I am so pleased to get to know Chris McClosky and her work. Her theme for the day will be How I write.
My writing experience is grounded in escapism. I started writing to amuse my kids, so I sought out the least restrictive atmosphere—soaking in the tub with a glass of wine perched on the side. I invested in a tub caddy, and scribbled on curling pads of paper. However, I didn’t need to write every word of description. Once I had created the dialogue, everything fell into place. This is not to say I had a final draft, but I had enough to work with. The second phase had to be tackled on the computer at the desk. There is no escapism during description and revision.
I have since written some non-fiction articles, and I go about it completely differently. I outline my topic on the computer, leaving as much space as possible between subtitles. I research my topic and change direction at least three times. I outline again. I research again and start to fill in subtopics. I add topics and delete topics. I outline again. I file articles and note sources. Finally, I light my Google adoration candle, all at a well-organized desk.
The rewriting is torture. I don’t know if I’ve forgotten half of my vocabulary, or if I simply never asked myself to produce as many perfect and obscure terms, but it’s painful. However, the satisfaction of proofreading a well phrased, well-organized, subtle yet powerful piece is worth it.
My writing process is in flux. I think it always will be. I write after the dog has been walked, and all the papers are graded. Often that’s not my most creative time. Early mornings are good, stolen afternoons are good, but not always available. I’m a work in progress.
It was GREAT learning more about you Chris. I wish you every success in the future.