Process? Ha. More like chaos and procrastination, fueled by crippling self-doubt. In their essences, I know the stories I want to tell and the characters I want you to get to know, but getting those things down? Chaos. Procrastination. Crippling self-doubt.
I do actually plan my stories out, but that mostly happens inside my head rather than in neat lists and files. So, by the time I come to write, the words (theoretically) flow like a stream of consciousness that I can then go back and edit into something intelligible.
Like a lot of writers, my writing comes from a very passionate, emotional place, and so once I get started, the actual task of writing becomes very immersive. I love the release of letting my thoughts leak out through my fingers and onto the keyboard. The trick is not letting myself think about it too much (see: crippling self-doubt).
Love. Hope. Broken minds and broken hearts.
Honestly, really and truly, I would still do what I do right now. Write words, make pretty pictures in photoshop, and love my husband. Having endless amounts of disposable income to throw at these pursuits is where the magic comes in… Is ‘lady of leisure and enormous fortune’ a job? I would rock that.
Read. Lots. You will absolutely learn about how to be a great writer through reading great writing, but even the terrible and trashy stuff will teach you if you’re open to learning. Read off-genre. Read the classics. Read, read, read. Then read some more.
Be #humble, but pursue excellence. Respect the advice and opinions of those who know what they’re talking about, and ignore those who don’t. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be better.
Respect your readers, too. Yes, it’s your story, but they’re the ones who want to listen to you… or don’t. No amount of creative genius can compensate for a story that isn’t immersive for your readers. Craft your story so that readers get lost in its words, so that they’re not reading pages so much as listening to you, your voice.
Give yourself time to live your life. Start writing now, but don’t stop living before you’ve even started. Embrace your suffering; learn and grow from grief and pain. Hope and happy endings are all the sweeter when you know just how much we have to lose.
Be honest with yourself. Figure out WHY you want to write, and then give yourself permission to follow that dream. Prioritise that dream. It takes a lot of sacrifice, hard work, and legalised stimulants, but you can do it.
The complete works of Agatha Christie, the Chronicles of Narnia, and/or Harry Potter. I’d also happily drown myself in pretty much any calibre of Romance novel or fairy tale(s).