Unfortunately I had an exam and was unable to attend the How I Write event, but I heard it was fantastic! I am looking forward to the next one.
So instead of reflecting on the event, I watched an interview of Jodi Picoult, one of my favorite authors. The interview I chose to watch happened to be on Ellen, so it was both very informative and very entertaining. Since I am such a huge Jodi Picoult fan, hearing about her writing process was very inspiring to me. One of the craziest aspects of what she talked about was how she finds the time to write all of her novels. She is a mother of 3 children, and write when she got started as an author was when she had her first baby. She said that any time blocks of 15 minutes she could find were precious. With 3 babies running around the house, she said she used to write while Barney was on, or even bring her laptop to type on her steering wheel of her car while parked in the Nursery school parking lot!
Now that her children are older, she has settled into more of a full day routine. She goes to the office around 7:30 AM and works straight all day until her kids come home from school when she magically has to turn into Mom again. It is a full time job. I honestly can’t imagine sitting down and just writing every day for 8(or more) hours straight…
Jodi Picoult has written 18 novels, around 5 of which have been number one best sellers. She said it only takes her nine months to write each novel. How can someone possibly come up with that many different story lines and characters?! I have enough trouble coming up with my paper topics for my classes, I don’t know how I would be able to think of intricate story worlds and plot lines for 18 different novels. Picoult says that her ideas start out like splinters. You know how you keep feeling around for a splinter to see if it’s still there? Well she keeps thinking about an idea and if it starts to keep her up at night, then it probably is a really good idea. About two or three weeks of this go by, and then characters seem to be popping up like mushrooms. She says the characters just take the story away from her and develop their plot.
I think my favorite quote from the interview was “writing is like successful schizophrenia.” She finds it amusing that she actually gets paid to hear voices. “They’re all talking in my head,” she says, “I just write them down.”