As you regular readers know, I have had a very busy couple of weeks. But now, I want to tell you what is coming up.
I will be doing the down and dirty work of getting my third book – The Me Project – to the finish line. It is due April 1st (wow, I get little pangs of panic as I write that…) so much of the next few weeks will be focused on getting reader feedback (if you are interested in participating, you can join my book group here on Facebook to contribute to the upcoming book,) editing, and then dropping my baby into my editor’s waiting lap.
A lot of aspiring writers, (and sometimes just plain old nosey friends,) have asked me to share about my writing process.
Oh. If only I were organized enough to have something so formal as a writing process.
But, for those of you who insist there MUST be some method to my madness, or just want to know what will be going on in my home and my head over the next six weeks, here is a snapshot of what it will look like:
- Figure Out What the Book is About OK, so this is easier than it may seem. I write about what the good people at Harvest House Publishers pay me to write about. Months in advance, I have submitted proposals of books I would like to write – and then Harvest House’s Publisher’s Committee will discuss which ones will actually sell. I am blessed to have their wise council and feedback, because I don’t want to spend a year writing a book that no one will read.
- Figure Out the Chapters So far, each of my books have been based on 21 Day Projects, so it is up to me to come up with the Projects (I usually come up with 40 and eliminate a bunch until we get down to the best 21) plus all the front-of-the-book and back-of-the-book stuff. This part of the process looks much like the Unibomber took up residence in our bedroom for a couple of months. In our room, Roger and I have these giant floor to ceiling sliding white closet doors that are just a blank canvas waiting to be filled up with giant Post-it notes. I plot out my chapters, having one giant Post-it for each chapter, and then put antidotes, scripture verses, quotes and other ideas on smaller stickies to move around. And yes, Roger is a very tolerant man.
- Write the Chapters This is the BIC (Butt In Chair) part of writing that I have such a hard time with. Fortunately, when I’m not traveling for speaking, I get to write with a bunch of other creative people (including Cathy Armstrong, Katie Vorrieter, Shelley Bates, Camy Tang, Kristin Billerbeck, Dineen Miller, Chris Jassen and my son, Justen Hunter,) at Orchard Valley Coffee in Campbell CA twice a week. I try to get 1000 words in each time I am at the coffee shop.
- Get Some Feedback My books are very reader focused. I love having the input of my favorite readers, getting their experiences and ideas. It makes for a much richer book.
- Have Someone Smarter Than Me Edit the Book This has been at different times been my friend and speaker Teresa Drake, and at other points my son Justen ( don’t worry, he doesn’t have to edit the parts of the books about marital intimacy – he still has to be able to look me in the eye at the end of the day.)
- Send it to Harvest House
This is a very basic set of steps. At some point I will explore more of how I integrate my speaking and marketing into the books, but for now – this is the process I follow for each book. I know – probably more than you needed to know. However, I love to see the inner working of other people’s lives, and thought you might be interested in my particular brand of crazy!