Blog of Author Heidi Cullinan • full website at heidicullinan.com
Things I Have Learned About My Writing Process, Lately Edition
Just keep swimming. What matters is getting to the end of the draft, however many times is necessary. Stopping to obsess or fret doesn’t help anything. Just get to the end, over and over.
There will be multiple drafts.The first draft won’t be right. It might not even be close. The second might not, either. You might, in fact, lose count of what draft you’re on. See #1.
You very likely have the title wrong. But you might not. (Try not to think on it too much. Also, see #1.)
At some point you will realize you have at least one character completely wrong. Possibly even the name. Resist the temptation to freak out. Chose one of two paths: obsess and collage and cover the marker board a la John Nash and journal until your eyes cross, or resolve to give up and walk away. Possibly both, in order. At some point you will figure it out. Also see #1.
Stop thinking about how you really have nowhere to submit this stuff. You already said this was going to Lulu. You honestly do get excited about having only a few hundred “fans” (and you hate that word, too), and anything over five hundred seems scary. You’re fine. Just keep swimming, and stop worrying. Possibly stop thinking, period.
Don’t think too much about theme until you have what seems like a mostly cogent draft. Think a little, but not too much. You really can’t sort that one until you’re able to back up and observe the whole.
Very, very often the scene you think sucks doesn’t at all. Also, the reverse. See #1.
Stop worrying about cover design. Seriously.
Plan to take a month off once you get a beta draft done. First of all, it will keep you from breathing down the betas’ necks. Second, you’ll come back at it with a clearer head, and you’ll be able to micro-edit to your Virgo heart’s content.
Stop worrying about how shocked people are going to be when they find out your first two published works (hell, all if not most) will be male/male erotic love stories. If you were doing this to please them, you’d write something else. You don’t want to write something else. This is who you are, so just embrace it and find a way to be zen.
Breaks are okay. Time tables are nice, but not always practical. Trust your muses. Feed them well.
Eat a lot of protein. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. Also, remember sleep.
Here we will discuss many marvelous things. Books. Boys. Girls. Music, movies, writing, what I should be doing but am not, and cats. A lot of cats.
For more official author stuff, go to www.heidicullinan.com.