C.M. HalsteadC.M. Halstead

My Writing Process

I think about my books and characters constantly

Even when I am doing other things I love to do (like being with my family, hiking, camping, watching movies) the creative part of my brain is working on characters, stories, and putting bits and pieces of the human nature I have experienced over the years, along with any kind of human detail, the worlds’ smells, how I feel in certain situations, how others have told me they feel in situations, what I have watched people feel. . .etc. into files and categories to be used at a later date.

I eliminate distractions with Writer’s Cave

My mind desires uninterrupted thought when I write, therefore I have created what I call a “Writer’s Cave”. It is mine and mine only to use, no others are allowed in when the door is closed, even I have to keep myself focused and out of the logical, business part of my brain. The less I think, the more productive my writing session is.

I don’t judge what happens in the writer’s cave.

There are no performance reviews, time cards to track when I am banging the keys or not, napping on the floor or researching on the internet, pacing the same floor, stirring the ideas to the surface. I have been my worse critic and slavedriver over the years. No reason to get him involved. I learned a long time ago, the speed of CM Halstead, is way faster than most people on the planet!

My writing sessions look like this

When I am flowing, I can produce about 2-4,000 words in a four hour session. My writing sessions are Monday-Friday 9am-1pm. Sometimes I sneak in extra, late at night or early on a Saturday. If I do, its usually editing something I wrote previously. I find that when I give the creative brain the weekend off, I am raring to go on Monday morning!  The blog posts I generally produce on a whim, in 30 minutes, early mornings usually, with my first cup of coffee, while the house is still silent.

I don’t allow myself any edits until I have a complete rough draft.

The editor and critic are not allowed in the room. Most of the time I am cranking out words, I am looking down at my fingers, not for finger placement on the keyboard keys, but to keep me from reading and editing in my mind what I am writing. I am looking at a line of text in my brain and it comes out my fingers, some days I truly picture it in my mind, and others times I hear it, and it comes out my fingers. A lot of the book is not read by my eyes until I feel I have created my rough draft completely all the way through!

I edit words, flow, storyline, etc., about 4-6 times.

Proofers, editors, copy editors, and content editors each have their way with a book after that, and I again read one last time after when they are done. Next step is to submit for proofs and print the book, so I and a few of my readers whose opinions and grammar minds I trust, get to read the books before and after the editing process.