‘Keep it Moving’ says Caitlin Rother!

Ah, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to those in the know), you irresistible siren of the proverbial seas. Clearly, it seems as though everyone is mustering their courage with the intent of braving this literary beast, even one of our very own. Go-getters everywhere, may you succeed! We are all supporting you on your quest for word count glory.

To celebrate, Dorchester will be serving up tips from published authors, tricks of the trade, and enough side dish prompts leading up to the pièces de résistance. First up on the menu, Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author Caitlin Rother discusses her writing process and how she manages her busy schedule (creatively, might I add)!

As a full-time author, I’m often asked about my writing routine, if I write every day and how much. The answer is that some days the only writing I do is emails and in my journal because much of my job is juggling cats to make sure I have money coming in so I can keep my job and the freedom it provides. Other days, when I have a cappuccino, for example, I might write for 12 hours straight, taking breaks only to use the restroom or to eat (not at the same time) because I’m in the zone.

Most days, I write best during the time slots I know my brain does its most creative work, and that’s a finite number of hours on a non-cappuccino day. I find that a built-in routine, which includes several changes of scenery and multiple shifts of the task at hand, really helps me to work longer before I get too tired to do anything more. That means e-mails and Facebook first thing in the morning, possibly some rewriting to prepare for a late morning interview, then a breakfast break at the local bagel place, which I consider my second “office.” There, I read research materials or edit on paper as well as plan, think, write a rough handwritten draft of a blog, visualize scenes and, most importantly, perhaps, dream big. I’ve always got to have at least one project in the hopper.

Thinking is an important part of being a writer, and I often do my most fruitful thinking while I’m out for my late afternoon walk or swim, in the shower, or in the car, where I may talk out loud and thanks to Bluetooth, no one thinks I’m crazy anymore.

After the bagel place, I go home to either make calls, do an interview or write for a few hours, then I take my exercise break. I try to do one more session of writing, editing, e-mailing or arranging interviews (by the media of me to promote my books and of research sources by me to write the books).

All of this juggling is important to keep this job and churning out books. I’m now working on my ninth, a spin-off to my first novel, Naked Addiction, which will be released for the first time in trade paperback in January 2012.

For more information on Caitlin Rother and her award-winning novels, stop by her website!

Signing off—

Jillian, The Zombie Intern

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