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Saturday, March 10, 2012

So You Want To Write By Heidi Senesac

The following article was first used in the January 2012 issue of MRW Impressions and may be reprinted by sister RWA chapters with acknowledgement to chapter and author. Bloggers may refer to this article but not republish it. Author Heidi Senesac has graciously allowed us to use it in this blog post.

You’ve tumbled the words around in your head until they’re shiny and smooth, like pebbles fresh from the polishing machine. It’s time. You’re ready to commit to sharing the novel you know you’re capable of writing with the world. But you’re left with questions. Like, where do you start?
Maybe you’ve already joined a writers group. Or, you’ve starting taking online courses. And you’ve noticed there are hundreds of writing tricks or techniques. You have friends who plot every moment of the novel. For every goal, there is an equal and opposite conflict or motivation. Others call themselves ‘pantsers’. There’s no planning, but they know instinctively what comes next. Some authors set times for when or how long they’ll write. Others will sit at their computer and let the words pour out of them until they are wrung dry. And just what is deep POV anyway?
Keep in mind that what is right for others may not work with you. I’ve recently seen a string of emails about how individual writers determine a ritual of what works for them. This discussion clanged like Big Ben for me. I struggled with the best way to put those first words on paper. Some authors reported starting their writing day with coffee, a little Facebook time, then music to pound the keys by.  Others expressed a preference for a glass of wine, scented candles and warm lamplight illuminating their keyboard as they transcribe the action in their head. And, don’t overlook the value of noise cancelling headphones. Every author has a ritual or process. And that process will be as personal as your favorite handbag or pair of shoes.
As you begin your journey toward becoming a published author, you’ll set your own routine. With luck, it will come naturally. Experiment with time, place and ambiance. I worked from several different rooms in my home until I settled on one with a picture window overlooking the yard, outdoor scented candles and instrumental music. This location and atmosphere stirred my inner creative. Find the routine that allows words to flow freely for you. Then write. Refining, editing, learning, polishing, entering contests, marketing and promotion will follow. Everyone has to start somewhere. Pick your spot and get busy.
Heidi Senesac writes contemporary romance as Gemma Brocata. She is the new Vice President in charge of programs for Midwest Romance Authors.

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