Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Deep, Dark Writing Secret from Kristi Helvig

            I’m about to admit something that I haven’t before. It contradicts common writing advice that I’ve seen since day one when I began this writing journey. My deep, dark writing secret is…I don’t write every day. In fact, gasp, sometimes I go weeks without writing.

There. I said it. If you’ve read any craft books about writing, you’ve surely seen the BIC (butt-in-chair) advice repeated over and over. Don’t get me wrong. Many of these books are amazing (On Writing by Stephen King is my fave), and I find a lot of useful tips in them; however, writing every day just does not work for me.

            I tend to immerse myself in whatever I feel drawn toward at the time. If it means that over two weeks of elementary school break, I do nothing but museum trips, movies, and endless games of Skip-Bo with my kiddos, I’m fine with that. If the next season of the Big Bang Theory comes in at the library, guess what my hubby and I are doing for the next week? However, when I’m drafting, I’m a focused (some might even say obsessed) writer. Things like sleeping, eating and showering go out the window.

Some may judge this confession and say I’m a lazy writer. Maybe I am. But here’s the thing. Even when I’m not physically writing, my stories and characters converse with me all the time, so when I do sit down to write, my draft pours out quickly. In fact, I turn all my projects in early. My editor told me this is rare…in fact, I just finished the sequel to BURN OUT three and a half months ahead of my due date. NOTE: I do apply the BIC technique for copyedits, etc. that I have to return to my editor because the muse never strikes for tedious things like that!

I love writing but I firmly believe that experiencing life, going out with friends, and having adventures with your family fills that well of creativity which sparks new ideas and enriches the stories you have to tell. So now you know my secret. Anyone else have any deep dark writing secrets they want to confess? 

For more information on Kristi Helvig and her books click here.


  1. Very true. You have to experience life in order to write about it.

  2. No matter how much I want to stay in my writing cave all day, I need airing out too. Awesome post!

  3. My characters are with me all the time too, so I can see how even though you may not have BIC your mind is still thinking about your story. My best first drafts are always the ones where the characters have been talking to me for months. When I finally get down to writing their story it flows. Great post!