What's in a Writer?
Just like snowflakes, every person is different. The same goes for writers. Sure, we might write the same genres, but when it comes down to it, our methods of writing are vastly different. The way I write is nothing short of . . . unusual and it’s a process that’s constantly changing depending on what it is I’m writing. So, how do I do it? How do I begin and finish a writing project? Glad you asked! Well, as the ride operator for an insane roller coaster would say, “Please keep your hands and feet inside at all times! Enjoy!”
All stories begin with an idea. For me, those can come from anywhere and at any time. Recently I’ve taken the galaxy that I introduced in one of my latest books, “Memories of Chronosalis”, and decided to expand on the worlds within that galaxy. Eventually, all my books will begin to connect with each other and characters from other books will intermingle. Now, this isn’t to say that my future books will be directly connected, they will (for the most part), be stand-alone. Sounds like a lot of characters and plots, right? Most definitely, but that’s just the easy part.
With my latest project within the “Chronosalis Galaxy”, I’ve been working on a trilogy that has two parts to each book. These parts are from different characters’ perspective. Some go back in time, some hint at the future, and some even have alternate realities! How do I do that? No clue, I listen to my characters. It’s their story after all.
Speaking of my little demons. . .I mean, characters 😉 I often like to joke with people that I have sixteen gods running around in my head. Each one desperate to share their story. Sometimes I get strange looks, other times, I get laughs. But it’s true. In this trilogy, I have sixteen gods plus other characters and each one’s story is vital to the trilogy. To me, all of my characters are real which makes them especially hard to ignore when I’m doing other things (like this post 😊). No, I’m not mentally ill. I’m a writer, it’s what happens. Now, they aren’t the only ones bothering me. Because I have other stories connected to “Chronosalis” other characters pop up now and again. Then I have to figure out what notebook their story is in. This small part of the writing process is just as challenging especially when I’m trying to sleep.
“Man, you have a lot on your mind, Ceara!”
“HA! We’re not even done yet!”
“What? What do you mean? I thought that was you’re writing process!”
Well, truth be told, there’s a LOT more that goes into writing than just. . .writing. In fact, most of that is stuff behind the scenes. For example, I don’t write all day every day. Believe me, I WISH I could do that. But life generally has other plans. No, I’m not talking about work, doctor appointments, or you know, general adulting, I’m talking about other things that make me a published author. For example, marketing, social media, advertising, comic cons, and other writing events. These are all the things that I do aside from just writing. I’m on nearly every form of social media and it gets challenging trying to post things regularly. Sometimes I don’t, mostly because I’m not up to anything worth talking about. I make my own book trailers, my own advertisements. And searching for “affordable” comic cons takes almost an entire day to do. Aside from all that, I update people on my life by writing blog posts like this. And sometimes, it takes me a good month to figure out what I want to talk about. Then, there’s the book reviews which I LOVE doing because I know it helps other authors like myself. I know I don’t have a huge following on YouTube, but as long as I’m helping my author friends, that’s all that matters to me. And you know, it takes at least three hours to do one or maybe two videos because I’m trying to find a place to film and I’m trying to perfect my “script” so the review looks professional.
I do a lot and I don’t generally have a lot of time to spare. When I do, I find myself helping other authors by going over their work. Again, not complaining, I enjoy helping others as much as I can. And when I’m not doing that, I’m reading more than one book at a time to educate myself on different writing styles and perfect my own craft.
“Well, it sounds like it’s overwhelming and too much to handle. Why don’t you just take a break?”
Easy. I can’t. Not even if I wanted to. You see, where I am right now, if I were to take a month off or maybe even three, the momentum that I’ve started with my work would die. I’d have to pick it up again and work even twice as hard to keep it going. See, self-publishing has its rewards, but it also has its problems. I do everything myself, not that I reject help. I absolutely need it, but I don’t have a lot of people in my corner to take on the loads that I have. I do have great help though. My husband comes with me to nearly every event and acts as my assistant (I don’t know what I’d do without him 😉). And my mom is often in the background helping me with advertising and promo when I literally can’t. My dad is one of my beta readers and is VERY good at his job. So I do have help. But there are still things that my “team” can’t help me with that I have to do myself. Am I complaining? Heck no. I love every step of the writing process. The good and the bad. Why? I learn something with every step. Yes, I’m constantly overwhelmed. But I’ve found ways of working around that and silencing the “demons” in my head.
Every artist of every type of medium has a story to tell. How they began their art. What their process is. What goes into it. What their muse is. I bet, if you sit down with artists, writers, musicians and so on, you’ll be amazed at what they go through to achieve their goals!