Write first, eat later.

This is a blog chain thingy for authors. Sounds like it involves flushing doesn’t it, but no, it is a forum for writers to talk about their writing process.

(And promote the books of other authors, a good cause as far as I am concerned)

I was tagged by Lisa Walker and will introduce two authors at the end of this blog who will talk about their writing process. (I tagged Graeme Simsion and Mary-Lou Stephens).

I called this post Write first, eat later because when the going gets tough, when the words are hard to find, when the character in my story refuses to tell me what to write next, I bake cakes and ice them, I eat, I drink too much whisky, I garden, clean cupboards and chase the dog .  . .  when really I need to keep writing.

And write through it.

And then, when I have done that.

And only then.

Can I eat cake.

Did these writers put their need to eat before their need to write? Pic from


First though, let me tell you how I met author Lisa Walker.

We were both selected for a Mentorship Camp in the Byron Bay Hills with author Marele Day. It was the first time I had focused on my writing without the distractions of children, work, and all the other parts of life that can get in the way of writing.

Lisa seemed so assured and confident and spoke about her work like she was in control.

I felt the opposite and was daunted by her quiet perseverance. We spent a week at Varuna too and over the years I have seen Lisa stick to her writing guns to pursue a career as an author. She is onto her third book. You can read about her writing here.

Now for my writing process.

So . . .  what am I working on now?

I have just finished the first draft of Drowning on the Way Home – all 96,000 words so I am still attached as the story feels  new and raw.

The next few months of editing will knock that out of me. Editing helps to let go of what I wrote — alone, almost in secret and as  I seek feedback and rework the story, I feel excited because I have the bones of the story on the page. Next I rework, rewrite and make the whole story better before I show my agent and publisher.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I heard of a new genre — marriage thrillers —and Drowning could fall into that. But I’m not really sure. I don’t think about the genre when I am writing a story, maybe I should.

My first book Losing February has a lot of sex in it so the publishers and booksellers classified it as erotic fiction. I like to think my work is honest and raw and uncomplicated. But really, I am the worst person to ask.

Why do I write about what I do?
Why does a character knock at the door? Why does a story refuse to leave my head? Why am I compelled to write one story and not another? Something grips you. It could be the character that just keeps talking to me.

It could be that you just have to tell this particular story because . . . I  think maybe the stories choose me.

Let me introduce the writers I have dobbed in to discuss their process and continue this.

Meet Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project. His wonderful humorous story of awkward love has been a huge hit.

His book was published about the same time as mine. I tweeted Graeme that I  was putting my book on top of his in bookshops because he was selling so well.

His first print run in Germany alone is 80,000.  I met Graeme at the Byron Writers’ Festival when we were on a panel  about love, with Lisa Walker.

His easy humour is not only evident in his writing but in person too. While I have a severe case of author envy I am  thrilled that he has had such success with this first book.

If you haven’t read it, hurry up before the film is made. He has just finished the sequel to  The Rosie Project

Read more about Graeme here or follow him on Twitter @graemesimsion

Meet Mary-Lou Stephens, author of the memoir Sex, Lies and Meditation. I met Mary-Lou when I was promoting my book

She interviewed me on ABC radio and was so enthusiastic and has been a huge support ever since. She reviewed my book, I reviewed hers.

We have the same agent and shared a tell-all panel at the Byron Writers’ Festival.

Whenever I look at her Facebook page she seems so busy and is always writing, talking about books, interviewing people and is generally an inspiration to everybody. She has started a blog for the Huffington Post which you can read here. And — she is a fabulous musician to boot.

Mary-Lou’s writing adventures can be found here or follow her on Twitter @MissyMaryLou
Buy books, and enjoy reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Visit my social profiles:

Scroll to top