Lisa writes about process below. I’ve always told people your process should be whatever works for you, and Lisa’s right to specify further–your process is whatever works for you for this book.
I used to write five pages a day. I would put my butt in the chair and not get out until those five pages were done. And when they were, my husband would reward me with two Reese’s Peanut Butter cups (the little kind). It was great–I’d finish a draft in 3-4 months, my brain was really always working on the book, my chapters unfolded in perfect 15-page chunks, and my finger got a sense of the arc and fall of those five pages. I loved it, and it was always such a good answer when people would ask, “How do you write?”
I didn’t have a kid then. Our rent then was the size of our heating bill now. I had something resembling a brain at that point–and that brain wasn’t always focused on when the electricity bill shows up in my online banking or which kind of peanut butter makes my little boy weep the tears of the emotionally shattered.
Now I can only write when I can write–and some days the time stretches out before me like an empty field and the words come sprinting across it, and other days that field is littered with bear traps. I was told that being a mother makes writing easier–that you have much less time and so you make better use of it. The people who told me this are liars.
My process now is to write what I can, when I can. I write around the bear traps. It’s a lot less of a good answer to that process question. And there’s a lot less chocolate.