Sunday, 6 April 2014

Creative Process Blog Tour, or Whatever Floats Your Boat

HMS Creativity

Having been kindly tagged in Rachel Howard’s blog to produce my own little missive for the Creative Process Blog Tour, I sat down to answer the following questions.

1) What am I working on?
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3) Why do I write what I do?
4) How does my writing process work?

And erk … I quickly realised there was only one question I could answer with any real clarity, and that’s the first one.

1) What am I working on?
Well, I’m working on a women’s novel at the moment. And when I say ‘working’, what I mean of course is staring at my computer for days on end, stamping my feet, crying, tweeting, bleating, and meeting other desperate writers suffering from clinical angst and loss of faith in their ability to ever complete anything half decent ever again. Ever. (Ask me this same question on a good day and I might say something like, “I’m working on a women’s novel. It’s an exciting new direction for me and I’m having such fun writing for a grown-up audience, as opposed to the young teenagers I am used to. It’s liberating to have more complex characters and plot lines, with plenty of internal conflict, and I’m loving the opportunity to create a really sick baddie. Plus of course, I get to swear fucking loads.”) Today’s a bad day though; that’s why I am writing blog posts instead of chipping away at my literary Venus de Milo.

So onto questions 2, 3 and 4; let the vagaries begin.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My writing differs from others of its genre because... but does it? Does it actually though? I write contemporary real life fiction, and I mean it’s obviously awesome and I’d like to think it was unique, but lots of people write awesome contemporary fiction. My brief flirtation with a traditional publisher led me to believe I was the second Jacqueline Wilson, because my stories put me in the ‘social issues’ camp, but they are more than just issue based. They are stories about ordinary people leading ordinary lives when something ordinary threatens to tear their world apart. Don’t you find that compelling? Because I do. I want to be Jacqueline Wilson meets John Green, at the fair, on the rollercoaster.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do because it’s what I know. I am an ordinary person leading an ordinary life and on more than one occasion, something ordinary has threatened to tear my world apart. But I’m still here and most days I’m happy and some days I’m not. The stories are pulled from the emotional vibrations which lie between those potentially life changing events. They are my means of expression, so could that be why I write what I do? Pah, *shrugs* who knows?

4) How does my writing process work?
Ummm, well, an idea comes to me and I mull it over, consciously and/or unconsciously for weeks, months, or even years, and then I put pen to paper and start writing. I don’t plan in detail. Sometimes I don’t plan at all.  I’ve started a book with nothing but a title before now, although not recently. I’ve tried to plan more. But really, my writing process is still evolving and I think it always will be. All I can tell you for definite is that I spend a whole lot longer editing than I do writing the first draft, and that at some point (during the creative process) I will fall in love with my work, hate my work, get despondent about my ability, think I am the greatest writer of my time, laugh, cry, enjoy the richness and beauty of language, think about my mum, miss my dog, drink too much coffee, plan what I’m going to have for dinner, play Words with Friends, be bold, be brave, shrink and hide away, write through the pain … and somewhere at the end of all that, I will hopefully have a book I’m proud to share with the world.

I ♥ being creative
One thing I will say about the creative process is that it's exhilarating, awesome and unpredictable. And if you look back through past bloggers on the Creative Process Blog Tour, you will find that no two writers approach creativity in the same way. When it comes to creation, my best advice is, do whatever floats your boat.

So now I am going to pass the buck to Kate Hanney, Marnie Riches and Emma Haughton, whom I met through SCBWI some years ago, and who are now my good friends.

Kate Hanney lives in Sheffield with her partner, two young children and an assortment of pets. By day she teaches English to teenagers who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, and by night - and whenever she finds two minutes to put together - she writes books. So far, Kate has published three novels for young adults, all of which fall into the gritty, contemporary realism genre. She is currently working on a sequel to one of these, and also an adult novel.
Find her blog here
Find her on Twitter here
Find her on Facebook here 


Marnie Riches, aka The Horrormoanal Woman, grew up on a rough estate in Manchester. With the ability to talk utter rubbish in five different languages, she ended up graduating from Cambridge University. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. Having authored the first six books of HarperCollins Children’s Time-Hunters series, she also writes crime thrillers for adults. Represented by Caspian Dennis of Abner Stein.
Find her Horrormoanal Woman Blog here
Find her on Twitter here
Find her on Facebook here


Emma Haughton is a one-time family and travel journalist turned YA writer. Her first YA thriller, Now You See Me, is published by Usborne on 1st May 2014; her second, Better Left Buried, is coming out in May 2015.
Find Emma’s blog here
Find her on Twitter here
Find her on Facebook here 


4 comments:

  1. Luverly. Glad I'm not the only one who gets hot then cold then hot again as they work on a project.

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    1. Yes - it helps to have company in the author angst camp, doesn't it? :)

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  2. What a great piece! It captures perfectly the range of emotions us writers experience, and is a timely reminder that writing books is bloody hard, and we shouldn't feel too bad when we find it hard! Thanks for the nomination, my friend! x x

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    1. Thank you. Looking forward to your post. :)

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