Thanks to Zanna Mackenzie for tagging me in The Writing Process Blog Hop. Read about Zanna’s writing process here.
At the end I’ll be tagging a few other authors, so please do follow those links to their blogs and interviews.
Click on any of the book covers below to purchase them or go to my webiste at www.jeffgardiner.com
What am I currently working on?
I’ve just finished a new YA novel, and now I’m writing a screenplay. This is an adaptation of somebody else’s novel, which is a new thing for me. It allows me to view the source material objectively and add my own interpretation. I’m working closely with the author, so she’ll let me know if I’m way off-beam. Adapting, as opposed to creating, is a different (but fun) activity, requiring a sense of self-discipline (as opposed to self-flagellation).
What makes my writing disctinctive?
I have books published in a number of genres, which is both good and bad. In artistic terms, I like to work in a variety of styles. I’ve written horror and slipstream stories; young adult fiction; romantic and contemporary novels, and non-fiction. The reason why this might be bad is that it makes marketing my work very complicated. Perhaps I’d do better just to stick with one genre? On the other hand, I like to try my hand at different projects.
Why do I write what I write?
Because I have to is the annoying and elusive answer. Writing has me by the throat now and won’t let go. The creative process is the most inspiring feeling. When I’m in the middle of something I get a kind of tunnel-vision, which is difficult to break from. It could be a form of self-indulgence, but I feel I understand that old cliche of being ‘in the zone’. It’s a great place to visit…
How does the writing process work?
I’ve been lucky enough to work part-time (as in a real job) for a few years now, so I have had two days a week to concentrate on my writing. Going part-time was like being given the gift of time. I think I used it well – although procrastination and distractions were always there to tempt me. I have four books published with two more to be released later this year, and two others completed, so I think I’m relatively prolific.
I also have a young(ish) family who are my pride and joy. Balancing my time between family, day-job and writing has been a struggle. I want to spend time with my kids, and when I don’t I feel guilty, so that’s something I’ve had to work on and improve. It means evenings and those few hours when the children are at clubs (dancing, gymnastics, Brownies) that I can steal some time to write.
A typical writing day will involve me taking the kids to school, then answering emails and doing some marketing on social network sites (something else I need to improve on). Once those admin-type tasks are done then I can settle in to the writing. If I’m in the middle of something I’ll check through what I did yesterday and then plan the next section before getting my head down. I don’t stick rigidly to word counts but 1000 words a day would be a basic minimum. Then just before 3 o’clock I walk up the road to collect my kids.
I’ll continue to write novels (particularly YA) and am hoping to find success with screenplays too. I have lots and lots of plans and notes and scribblings and dreams. My big news is that I am able to give up the day job (for a while anyway) so the gift of more time has been granted to me. Now I must resist the urge to waste that time … (perhaps self-flagellation is the answer?)
And now I’d like to tag the following authors. Please visit their blogs to read about their writing processes: