I've had a number of fans reach out and ask me exactly how I wrote my book. I know several of you are working on writing projects of your own so I wanted to shed some light on my writing process.
1. Make a Timeline For Yourself. I usually work backwards. For my most recent book, my deadline was September 1st. I started writing in May. I gave myself a two week cushion and decided I was going to be done writing by August 16th.
2. Change Locations Frequently. Everyone has a different process and a different place they like to write. In my recent interview with the writers of The First Affair they shared their favorite writing spots. For me, it's all about frequently changing up the location. I like to work for about 90-120 minutes in each location. Typically, a writing session for me lasts about 3-4 hours. I'll start at home for the first half and then shift to a coffee shop. I get too tired sitting in the same place for too long.
3. Always Outline First. When I write my book proposals (before they are sold) I write an outline for each chapter of the book. When it's time to write, I go back through those chapters, review them, and make the outlines even more specific. It's so much easier to write a chapter when you have a clear guideline explaining what that chapter is going to include.
4. Generate. Generate. Generate. When I sit down to start writing, I try not to be too judgmental in terms of what works, what doesn't work, what needs to be edited, what needs to be changed or moved around. I try to sit down and just let the words flow onto the paper. I can go back and edit them down later.
5. Find a Cheap Printer. I'm a visual person. I like to edit on the actual pages with a big Sharpie. I like to cross things out, edit, highlight, and circle. If I went to FedExKinkos every time I needed to print out hundreds of pages, I'd be broke. I found a great inexpensive printer by my house and I go there almost everyday while I'm editing. My printer charged less than $8.00 every time I needed to print out the entire manuscript (almost 400 pages!).