Alyssa Alexander is a longtime member, and former board member, of CCWA. She was a speaker at last year's Write on the Red Cedar conference, and often gives workshops throughout the year.
Alyssa stopped by our blog to give us a peek inside her writing life. Check it out below!
What is your writing schedule like?
Wait, we’re supposed to have a schedule?!? I have no schedule! Alas. Because I work full time and I have a kid in Ninja class (who also requires food and playtime and hates to go to bed in case he misses something important), my writing time is whenever I can fit it in. I try to write after work at local coffee shop one to two times per week from 4-5p, but most often I start writing at 9pm after the child is in bed and daily chores are done. And, if I can drag myself out of bed, I’ll write early on weekend mornings and watch the sun rise. There’s something amazing about the quiet morning, before the world wakes up, that inspires me.
What has surprised you most about your journey as an author?
Everything. Oh, wait, you want specifics? Let’s see: (1) it doesn’t get easier; (2) the business changes FAST; (3) social media and marketing is important, but not as important as writing the next book; (4) we don’t do this for money, we do it for love; and (5) every career is full of ups and downs. The trick is to roll with the changes, have a plan in place for tomorrow, and keep on keeping on. That is, put words on the page.
Every. Single. Day.
Do you have any writing rituals or habits that others might think are strange?
Hm. Good one. I like a beverage. Water, lemonade, ice tea, coffee, wine. Something—anything. It helps me think when I take a sip. You gotta watch the wine though! Thoughts can get muddled if you start *thinking* too much! When I write at home I can easily go through three or four water bottles or an entire pot of coffee in just a few hours.
Also, I hate writing with my shoes on. HATE IT. That’s fine at home, but not so good at the coffee shop. Still, I have been known to slip off my shoes and write cross-legged while sitting in Biggby.
What the LAST thing you Googled for your novel?
Let me check my history… Google says, “Siberian mountain ranges.” Kind of boring, actually. “18th century poisons” was a much more fun Google search! So was “how fast do corpses lose their body heat?” and “how do you attach a second helmet to a motorcycle?”
What are you working on now?
I often have a couple of projects in the works, some editing and some new words. At the moment I'm working on a contemporary romantic suspense. It's a departure for me as far as time period, but I'm loving it!
Don't forget to stop by Schuler Books & Music in OKEMOS for Alyssa's workshop on Wednesday, September 7, 7-830pm!