Lia Cooper’s Writing Process

The first serious author’s blog I tried to write was called The Writing Process. Despite having journaled on Livejournal for a decade I didn’t know anything about good blogging habits—not about SEO, tagging, using keywords, proper format (ie news format or the inverted pyramid), nada. I thought that I could write the same way I had journaled. And what’s more, I didn’t think I had useful writing tips to share in a world where content is key. I’ve still only scratched the surface but I’m learning.

The last two weeks I’ve talked about writing habits and how to make your personal writing style work for you. These articles are based on first hand observation of writers I know, read and listen to. I love to soak up other people’s process. What works for them rarely works for me but it’s always interesting to hear how other authors go about writing a novel.

About The Author

the author!My name is Lia and I was historically a Waiter. Until a couple years ago I only wrote sporadically and if the muse was with me. So it shouldn’t surprise you that I never got anything written.

I might never be Stephen King, writing 2000 words a day, six day a week. But through patience I’ve been able to find a happy medium between low-volume daily writing and my natural inclination as a Waiter. I have about 2-3 high volume writing months every year where the muse is flowing and the words pour out of me—I also like rewards so these heavy writing months tend to fall around NaNoWriMo—and I intersperse these heavy writing months with light daily writing months. I may only set a goal of 300-500 words during the lulls. The point is that this goal is something I know I can meet, so I’m always working on my novel without burning myself out.

Writer’s Block Is Real

Heroes-Peter-and-Sylar-the wallNot a popular opinion these days. A lot of people will tell you writer’s block is just a writer being lazy or undisciplined but I’m going to tell you that sometimes you don’t know what happens next. Sometimes you’re afraid to work on your story. Sometimes you write yourself into a corner. When this happens, it may be possible to punch your way through the block.

On the other hand, it may also be wise to take a step back and let your brain mull over the problem for awhile.

Good writing habits don’t mean making yourself miserable or trying to be any other writer than yourself. Good writing habits mean finding what works for you and not letting setbacks discourage you.

What Are Your Authorial Priorities?

I write because I love to share stories with people. When a reader sends me an email or leaves a comment telling me that my story impacted them on an emotional level—that is the best feeling in the world. That is why I write.

Writing is hard for me. Being prolific is really hard. I have a short attention span and I’m naturally pretty lazy. For me to be productive, I’ve had to find a balance of structure and time off that keeps my brain happy and my fingers busy.

When you find the balance that works for you, then you too will find success.

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