the behind-the-scenes writing tag.

(I just pronounced the word “tag” as “taeg” in my mind because I heard someone say it that way once and now I can’t remember who it was.  LOL.)

Because I recently watched a movie starring Harrison Ford (the remake of Sabrina, also starring Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear), Eva tagged me with the “The Behind-the-Scenes Writing Tag.”  (See her answers here.)  I actually haven’t done a tag in a while (the reason being that I keep forgetting about them, lol; keep tagging me, guys!), so this should be fun!  [Edit: Duh, I just did that movie tag.  *facepalm*  My life… Ugh.]

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Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

Yes, but it’s slightly embarrassing and stereotypical.  : D  Usually, right before I’m about to start writing, I put some chocolate chips in a cup and freeze them and I make some iced sweet tea (my very own recipe that a friend says I’d make millions off of).  I get my Pinterest and random internet browsing out of the way while the chocolate chips are freezing and the tea is brewing.  I really don’t drink coffee unless I’m writing in the morning because even though I love coffee *takes a sip* it honestly doesn’t really have an effect on me.  Sad but true.  (I don’t usually write in the morning, though.  If I put off school ’til later in the day, even during NaNo, I won’t get it done.)  So all that to say that I eat frozen chocolate chips and drink iced super-duper-sweet tea while I write.  *Kyle voice*  GAHHHH!  MY POWERS ARE INCREASING!

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When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?

Kinda just answered this in my last answer, but I’ll elaborate.  I write best later in the day.  I’ve been working on getting all of my school done early on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I can write at my nannying job, but I feel guilty most of the time for writing instead of doing school, so it doesn’t really work.  I usually do it around four in the afternoon or after dinner.  (During NaNo, though, it’s all over the place.  I’ve gotten up at six in the morning to write and I’ve stayed up ’til two writing.  So.  Yeah.)

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Where do you write?

I can write basically everywhere, but my go-to place is in my room.  Just wherever I can get away or wherever it’s quiet.  A few weeks ago, when half my family was gone for a week (overlapping when my dad was gone for a weekend) and it was just me, my younger brother, and my younger sister at the house (SWEET BLESSED BLISS), I moved my writing station to the kitchen and sat on a bar stool for almost the entire weekend.  It. Was. So. Awesome.  I’ve written at the library, too, and I think that’s my favorite place to write.  I’ve also written at a Starbucks with a friend and then went to her house afterward.  (July Camp NaNo of last year.  I had to write 10k in three days in order to finish on time.  I did it.  *fistpump*)

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How often do you write a new novel?

Oh gosh.  Seeing as I’ve only technically finished one… yeah.  I finished writing The Art a few months ago (see this post), and I’ve been re-writing ever since.  (I called it editing at first, but it’s not.  I’m taking out chunks and adding chunks and re-writing backstories.  Re-writing.)  I’ve done NaNo three times, though, and jump-started three novels with it – Becoming Nikki (*shameless plug* available at Amazon! *end shameless plug*), Sneakers and Hot Fudge Sundaes (*sniff* my poor children whom I left all alone in their final chapter… gosh, I’m such a bad writer), and The Art of Letting Go (which is honestly the best thing I’ve ever written and it’s only getting better and I LOVE IT).

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Do you listen to music while you write?

DUH.  I listen to music all the time, no matter what I’m doing.  (Listening to Sleeping at Last right now, actually.)  My soundtrack for my writing varies, though.  While I was writing Becoming Nikki, it was all over the place.  Mainly Josh Groban, but a little Tenth Ave and other random Christian stuff, too.  While I wrote The Art, I almost exclusively listened to Night Visions by Imagine Dragons.  If I can’t focus because I’m singing the music instead of actually writing, I’ll listen to soundtracks and movie scores, though.

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What do you write on? Laptop or paper?

Laptop!  When I got back into writing when I was fourteen, I wrote in notebooks while we drove around looking for a house to buy (bad memories there…).  I still have a dent in the middle finger of my right hand because I pressed down so hard all the time.  After my hand started cramping up, I knew something needed to change.  Then I started writing on my dad’s old laptop, which worked really well because it didn’t have internet.  (Sometimes I long for those days again.  HA.)  In 2013, I bought my own laptop so I could do my college work on it, and I’ve been using it ever since.  *pats laptop*  I used to always carry around a notebook of story ideas with me, but then I started writing down my ideas in my phone and emailing it to myself every now and then.  It works.  : )

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Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?

Besides my chocolate-freezing, tea-making, and Pinterest-browsing?  Not really.  When I’m working on The Art, though, I like to look through the Pinterest board I made for it so I start to remember what the story’s supposed to feel like.  (Pinterest is one of my favorite writing resources, guys.  Not even kidding.)  Sometimes, if I’m working on an especially hard scene or one that could potentially have an impact on someone, I’ll pray for guidance and the right words.

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i don’t care who you are or how you feel about the harry potter books. if you’re a writer, jo’s story should inspire you like almost nothing else can.

What do you do to get into the mood to write?

(Golly Pete, I really should read all of these questions before I start answering them…)  Like I said in my last answer, I usually browse my Pinterest board, looking for the inspiration for the story.  Sometimes I’ll watch videos and procrastinate for a while.  (Not recommended.)  It’s very rare that I’ll go back and read what I’ve previously written – and I NEVER do it during NaNo.  (Protip: Never ever ever go back to what you’ve written the day before and try to edit.  You’re wasting precious writing time and you’ll only mess with your word count.  Get all 50k words down before you edit.  You’ll thank me later.)

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from ‘fangirl’ by rainbow rowell. golly pete i love this book.

What is always near the place you write?

A buncha junk.  : D  My laptop, drink, maybe a snack, headphones, and whatever clutter is already on my desk or my writing space.  I also have a few writing books and notebooks nearby that are handy when I need inspiration.  I usually have everything I need on the computer, though.  (I’m able to be more mobile that way.)

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Do you have a reward system for your word count?

I do!  During NaNo, I usually give myself a reward whenever I reach my daily word count – usually an episode of a TV show (lots of Boy Meets World gets watched) or I reward myself with a book.  Or sometimes the reward is just that refreshing feeling that I did it.  When I’m not doing NaNo, though, it varies.  Whenever I get a chapter edited or actually sit down to write (which, sadly enough, doesn’t happen as often as I’d like *shakes fist* STUPID COLLEGE), I’m rewarded with that amazing feeling of assurance that I’m a writer instead of just someone who writes occasionally.

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*coughhack* i’m finding this to be especially true with the main character of ‘the art’ who isn’t a christian and, therefore, makes some decisions that i wouldn’t. just because i write it doesn’t mean i condone it.

Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?

Umm… Does anyone know that I pull faces while I write?  It’s embarrassing when I’m in a public place, but I do it at home all the time.  I’ll either do the face or emotion that I’m trying to convey in order to write it better, or I’ll start singing along with whatever I’m listening to.  I do all the voices in my head as I write, so some of it must get out on my face.  HA.  #I’mAWriter

Well, that’s all the questions!  If you’re reading this somewhere in your house, you’re tagged.  (As always, share the link in the comments section, or, if you don’t have a blog, answer the questions in the comment box.)

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P.S. Before any of you guys ask, no, I’m not doing NaNo this year.  (Cry all the tears.)  I set a goal of finishing the second draft of The Art before Christmas this year (and I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE YAYYYYYY!!!) so since I’m only halfway done with it, I can’t rationalize starting another novel and spending all of my free time on it instead of The Art (even though I have an idea about what my next one’s going to be about… shhh).

P.P.S. Speaking of Christmas… stay tuned for a blog series centering around my favorite holiday and the most wonderful time of the year.  ; )

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6 thoughts on “the behind-the-scenes writing tag.

  1. Eek, another fan of Kyle! hahaha He’s definitely one of my favorite characters from their sketches.

    Oh, having the kitchen to yourself sounds amazing. It’s really ridiculous how much more productive I am when others aren’t around. Currently I have 1 evening a week to myself for a few hours and it’s wooondeerfuul for writing, doing housework, piano playing…anything, really.

    “some of you may die, but this is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.” HA! That made me smile.

    I have never done NaNo, but the idea intrigues me. Maybe someday. 🙂

    • YES. 😄

      It is! I write so much better when I’m alone. : P NICE!!! I have an afternoon once a week and it’s fantastic. : )

      Heehee. It’s super hard, but if you like writing, you can do it. I’m three for three! : )

  2. I really enjoyed reading this, Ashley! Reading stuff like this about other writers inspires me to be a better one — so thank you! 🙂 (Also, all those quotes are great.)

    Hmmmm, and I like the idea of frozen chocolate chips…..

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