“Don’t look at the world with your hands in your pockets. To write about it, you have to reach out and touch it.”
~Mark Twain

The wonderful and talented Nikki tagged me in a Facebook post to share seven unknown facts about my writing. I liked the idea so much that I decided to write about mine here!

1. All of my books have at least one anecdotal experience or story woven into their pages. It usually involves one of the main characters and is just an extra little way for me to relate to them. Emily had the same college orientation activity that I did. Sofie has the same favorite musical (Wicked). Remi goes through a very similar journey with her writing. Charlotte adores the Jersey shore. Eden has a handmade blanket from her grandmom. Melina loves to read. Bradley volunteers at a rabbit rescue. Some are small details. Others are more significant. All of them make me feel closer to my characters.

2. I always like to write two chapters per week while drafting. It’s been my method for years now and seems to work really well. Sometimes it means I have to write on the weekends, if certain weekdays are dedicated to other things, but that’s okay. It’s really taught me how to be (somewhat) flexible with the writing process.

3. Each of my main characters has a theme song and each book has its own soundtrack/playlist. I can’t even begin to say how many times I listen to this music while working on the book. It helps to center me in the story.

4. Although fiction writing will always be my favorite, I genuinely enjoyed my time in journalism and also love every minute of working on the newsletter for the bunny rescue that I adopted Jasper from last year. All three kinds of writing are so different, and yet each has its own joys.

5. Every first draft I’ve ever written has been too long by thousands of words. I’ve just accepted the fact that my revisions will always involve a lot of deleting. At least the first drafts have gotten progressively less long as times goes on? That counts for something, right?

6. My love of creating writing was reignited by a General Hospital fanfiction story I wrote back in 2007 and 2008. I will always be so grateful for that experience, not only for the writing itself, but also because it brought some amazing friends into my life whom I’m still close with today.

7. If you add up all the pages I’ve written since starting the aforementioned fanfiction, the total would be over five thousand. Maybe none of those pages have been published yet, but I am (slowly) learning that there’s much to be proud of simply in the fact that they exist. My characters have become like family to me and my books like my babies, and no matter what happens, that will always make my heart sing.

Your turn! Share an unknown fact, either about your writing or something else!


12 thoughts on “Seven.

  1. Shari, it’s awesome you have so much routine built in to your writing! I’m the complete opposite, aren’t I? Haha. I also try really hard to focus on the joy I get while writing, rather than the world’s reaction to my writing.

    • I admire you so much for embracing such a go-with-the-flow attitude about it. I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to schedule everything and have a set routine, so it’d probably drive me crazy to approach writing any other way. Sometimes I wish I could, though!

  2. 2 chapters a week, wow! Well, I loved reading a bit more about your process, and it’s totally adorable/awesome that fanfic brought you back to your love of writing. I’ve been thinking about that link in my own life recently. Even considering writing some (private) fanfic just to reignite my sense of play…

    • “Sense of play” is such a perfect way to describe it! There was something very light-hearted and carefree about writing in that way — not that writing novels isn’t its own kind of joy, but I think fanfic is more uninhibited, you know? I still have mine saved and will sometimes go back to read just a paragraph or two. It’s a good reminder to always have fun with what a project. I definitely vote for you diving back into the fanfic world a little! :)

  3. Your word counts are something I sit back and marvel at! Even more impressive is how you manage to edit them down into an even stronger manuscript.

    Hmm, a writing fact about me…I’m convinced I write better with a giant cup of coffee at my side! It’s part of my routine these days. :)

    • You’re so sweet! Somewhere along the line I’ve come to really enjoy editing. Who’d have thought? :) I’m halfway through my first draft as of today and am already looking forward to revising.

      Plain coffee or flavored?! :)

  4. You should absolutely be proud that your words exist! You’ve written an entire book multiple times, and you will continue to do so! That’s not an accomplishment to sneeze at, seeing as most people brag about wanting to write a novel but can barely put down a chapter ;) I love your two-chapters-a-week rule. I don’t have a set writing routine or goal each week, but I’m really thinking I ought to make one.

    • I think it’s my Type A personality — I’d go nuts without a routine! It’s been such a long-standing goal and it helps, knowing what to plan for each week.

      Thank you for the kind words, friend! :)

  5. My first drafts tend to be short because I’m just getting the rough story down on paper. All the details happen in the second draft, by which point I’m a good 10 to 20K words over my genre limit. I think we definitely become more efficient the more we write.

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