When my friend Grace Hwang Lynch contacted me about the writing process tour, I was honored. Hers went up last week, and this week is my turn to share a little more insight into my writing life.
I have a few drafted YA manuscripts but right now my full focus is getting getting ready to review my pass pages! Pass pages is when your book is at it’s near final stages and we’re examining everything for minor spelling and grammar issues that may pop up. It’s amazing to work on getting Written in the Stars all grown up and ready to enter the big wide world all on its very own. When a book is unpublished it belongs to you and means what it means to you, but once it’s bound and packaged and published it belongs to the readers and means what it will mean to them alone. So really, in tweaking my current manuscript and looking it over I’m working on two things: (1) The manuscript and (2) letting go. My friend Rebecca shared this picture with me and it’s true, as beautiful as it is to share my novel with the world, this book is a part of my heart and soon it will become what it was always meant to be, a story, a novel- belonging to everyone who reads it as they wish.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think all work differs from all other works. Give two writers the same plot idea and characters and you will get two completely different books. Creativity is beautiful like that. My work differs from others of its genre because I am the person who wrote it, its as simple and complicated as that. We are unique and as a consequence so are our stories
Why do I write what I do?
My stories have always “come to me”. Over dishes, while rocking a baby to sleep, or simply brushing my teeth, poof, a girl [somehow it’s always been girls so far] talks to me, I see what she looks like, I get the first whiffs of her voice and it draws me to sit down and sketch out who she might be and what her story is. My stories tend to be about Pakistanis and Pakistani Americans. I believe we need more representation in literature and as a member of the We Need Diverse Books campaign I am thankful that the voices that speak to me are these [though that could always change].
How does your writing process work?
First, I sit around and stare at my moleskine.
Then I decide I need to write something so I start writing fast and furious trying to ignore how much I’m thinking this draft sucks!!!!
Then, I pause, take a break for a few days or weeks and wait to hear from my writing partner Tracy and just play it cool, drink chai, you know, chill.
Then I get back feedback and critique, and head back to the laptop to start revisions.
Sometimes it’s hard and I very much want to stop when the right word isn’t coming or the scene feels off for one reason or other and I want to just say I give up…
But I keep on going. I finish. I send it off to my agent for feedback, and declare I’m done! I’m done! I will take a two year break from writing and breathe because writing is HARD it’s LONG and I NEED A BREAK and then mid-celebration a new story idea hits from out of nowhere.
And back I go to writing again…..
Hope this was illuminating! Now, I’d like to introduce you to three friends who will be blogging about their writing life the week of July 6th! Check out their blogs next week to find out what inspires them!
Saira Siddiqui is a freelance writer/life coach who holds a Masters in Education. Previously she taught for several years in the public and private sector. When she is not writing for others she enjoys writing for her own blog, Confessions of a Muslim Mommaholic
Reem Faruqi is a doodler any chance she gets, an aspiring children’s book writer in the nights, a photographer on weekends, and a Stay-At-Home-Mom during the week to a preschooler and a toddler. Originally a second grade teacher, she is taking a break from the teaching world to mother her two daughters. Check out her blog, Doodling Through Life: www.reemfaruqi.com Follow her on twitter: @ReemFaruqi or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReemFaruqiPhotography
Jamila Basharat is a mother, crafter, and Pinterest addict. This former Florida native re-discovered blogging only a few months ago, but she already loves it! When she is not brokering peace between crying children, you can find her baking chocolate treats, reading, or finding new uses for Mod Podge. Follow her adventures at www.eatplaycraft.com