From Women Writers, Women’s Books:
When the idea came to me for my novel, I remember racing to my computer and writing in a sort of frenzy. I wrote a few pages in this exhilarating state of mind, then closed my computer and went on with what I had been doing, probably cooking dinner. Reading what I had written the following day, I realized I was on to something, and that perhaps this could turn into a book. That was an amazing feeling!
But what happened during the years it took me to finish was far from linear or formulaic. In fact, it was probably the messiest, most organic, albeit exciting, experience I have ever lived through. In the beginning, I had no outline, structure or direction. But there was a magic that would occur, with sparks of illumination so insanely thrilling, that I just couldn’t stop writing.
Mostly though, as every writer will tell you, the process was more prosaic and consisted of staring at the computer screen for hours on end and coming up with very little. Putting in the time and not giving up was crucial. Some days were good, some days not so good. But miraculously, those two states of mind, the enchanted and the mundane, merged into a river of creativity, that resulted, to my utter delight, in a book.
My story began to develop and grow in unexpected ways, much like a baby who resembles neither parent at first but occasionally, even eerily, flashes a crooked smile or gives you that soulful gaze that makes you know you are staring at your spiritual twin. If you think about the things that have preoccupied you in life – the people, passions, loves, heartbreaks, milestones, interests, hobbies, books, travels, dreams, regrets — tucked away in the deepest recesses of your memory bank, chances are you will find them in the pages of your book. They may be softly woven throughout your pages, quietly vibrating in the background or take center stage, emerging with crystalline magic.
Humming in the background of my own consciousness was a love of literature, women writers, travel, and England. If I could combine my love of those things with a riveting story about a woman who takes a trip that changes her life, this just might work.
During the writing process, I discovered some faithful companions – habits and tools I could rely on, that became lamposts to light my way during the chaotic, messy, enigmatic business of writing a book.
Link to the rest at Women Writers, Women’s Books