Step one: dream an awful lot, think, plot, imagine, and mull over
Step two: when I can't stand dreaming anymore, I'll make an outline with a list of characters along with research
Step four: write the rough draft
Step five: forget about it, forget what I wrote, go do something else for a few months
Step six: re-read and change major issues (grammar, spelling)
Step seven: revise and rework, changing things that don't work with the plot and/ how something is written.
Step eight: revise again.
Repeat steps six through eight
Ideas keep running in my head whatever I do. While I drive, especially on a long trip, I formulate the ideas into possible stories. As a result I have a drawer full of future stories.
For me, writing a poem is a long, slow process of discovery. Once the idea for a poem gets into my head, I start writing down whatever occurs to me about it, then lay the pages aside. A day or two later, I come back and look at what Iíve written. Is there any shape to the ideas? Where are they going? What is the centre? I read the lines aloud, trim, reword, rearrange, then put the pages away. Another day I come back and scrutinize everything with fresh eyes and ears. Again, I search for the point underlying what I am groping to say and the shape of the poem that is trying to emerge. Each day, I work on a fresh copy of the poem, but keep the previous versions, in case I need to backtrack. This process goes on and on and on, usually through dozens of rewrites, until finally the poem finds its shape and is saying what at first I didnít fully know it wanted to say, but now I sense it finally does. Overall, much of the process is intuitive, but once the poemís general direction has become clear, I also apply my knowledge of writing technique to help with the editing.
My creative process stems from anger, frustration, at the current world situation, stemming originally from an environmental perspective - very fundamental - too many people consuming too many goods - and then expanding into politics, consumerism, militarism, and current affairs, being mostly American foreign affairs, with a distinct and clear anti-empire message. Before sitting down to write all I need is to read or see on TV another act or statement of stupidity or ignorance coming from some politician or corporate personality or some military genius - these comments are quite frequent, then I either sit and write immediately or mull it over for a while trying to organize my feelings into arguments that make a coherent counter to whatever statement.
Many of my ideas come from conversations I have with clients - their questions and worries suggests that other people may have similar concerns and writing an article or book which will reach a wider audience seems a sensible thing to do.
I'm not one of those people who can sit down in front of a blank sheet of paper and start writing. My inspiration comes to me like quick little lightning bolts. A flash goes off and there it is. I have to write quickly or it's gone. There have been countless times when the lightning struck and I had no way of writing it down. I have millions of brilliant ideas just floating around in space because I couldn't get to a pen in time. When I do have enough to work with, it becomes a jigsaw puzzle. I put the pieces where they fit best and somehow it seems to gel.
All kinds of stuff just floats around in my head. Whatever I see and hear is added and eventually some semblance of an idea will be born. With that, I write it down and let it ferment further in my mind until I have an idea of what to write.
Usually a chapter formulates in my mind throughout the day or days whilst I go about my normal routines. When I sit down to finally write that chapter, it is almost like a transfer process where I take what is my mind and thump it into the keyboard. The words flow onto the page.
I can only write when I feel inspired and in a creative mood.
Before I sit down to write a novel, I allow the story to percolate and ferment. By this, I mean that I allow ideas to come into my head and I dwell on them, particularly on the characters, until I can see them and the plot more clearly. Then I allow each idea to grow and develop into a story that excites me.
I don't use a full outline prior to writing, but I sometimes make notes. When I'm ready to write, I start at the beginning. I always think carefully about the Four Firsts, in particular the first sentence. Once I have the first sentence, the rest of the first chapter seems to flow.
I generally see or hear something that provokes a thought, idea or image that I then sit down and try to capture.
I am a full timeteacher so the writing process must work around that. I write a lot during my holidays and any free time I have. Waiting for inspiration is a luxury I can't afford, also I don't believe in "inspiration" as fuel. Sometimes it's there, at the beginning, to develop an idea, after that it's just self-discipline. Writing is a craft, you need to work at it. Reading is part of that work. I see my whole life as preparation for what I write. When I am in writing mode, "the zone", I can't bare distractions. I don't like talking to people - which is difficult with a family - and spend a lot of time staring into space, walking in the garden, making coffee, pruning bushes ... procrastinating. I am an avid note maker. I have several blank journals to write or sketch, creative doodling. Most writing begins with pen on paper and goes gradually to computer.
I have an idea I need to put down in words. It hits me. I sit down and I write. That's it.
Ideas will suddenly occur to me when I'm doing something else. When that happens, I'll quickly find something to jot it down. Then when I can sit down to write, I sort of have an idea what to write.
BOOM! thas what it's like, or sometimes a rising in my chest i cannot not write when it comes no matter where i am. but i write what i feel, i am tryin to discipline myself to write what i think needs to be written.