One Author's Life


My Creative Process: The 48-hour Read-Straight-Through Marathon

July 2, 2014

I just completed a 48-hour writing and self-editing marathon in which I read my new manuscript from beginning to end with as few breaks as possible.

This requires some serious discipline. No television, no reading, no Internet. No ice cream, no meal preparation. Just snacks, water, and coffee. And, occasional stretching exercises and power naps.

My “read-straight-through” marathon is not about meeting a deadline. It’s actually part of my creative process. It has happened several times during the creation of each of my books – this time around, with the sequel to Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society, which is what I am working on now.

I say the marathon “happens” because I don’t plan it. I just know I need to do it.

Essentially it means that I have reached a point when I’m not entirely sure what I’ve written. Inconsistencies creep into a manuscript over time. The more interruptions – a doctor’s appointment, a phone call, a thunder storm – the more inconsistencies.

Only by reading the manuscript all the way through, in what is basically one sitting, do I see the flaws.

Oddly enough, it’s a fascinating part of the process. My mind is fully engaged, and I’m using my God-given talents to the best of my ability.

I know that other writers have different approaches. I don’t know why this works for me; it just does. There are many mysteries to the creative process, and that is what makes it so beautiful.