Writing is left-brained

I’ve been writing professionally for 32 years and privately since I was four, and so being asked to stop and think about how I write is a challenge. It’s become left-brained, like tying my shoelaces or reversing the car. So when Andrea Stephenson of Harvesting Hecate invited me to share my writing process at this blog hop, I took the opportunity to look back.

First, a bit about Andrea. Click here to find out how she writes. She has written fiction since she was a child, but has written seriously for a number of years, including short stories and The Skin of a Selkie, her first (as yet unpublished) novel.  She feels that she reached a happy turning point in her creative life just over a year ago when, having had little success before, she won prizes in two writing competitions within a month of each other.  She went on to start her blog and has never felt more inspired creatively. writingAndrea finds inspiration in nature, the coastline and the turn of the seasons.  She believes we all need a little enchantment in our lives, so her stories tend to include a hint of magic.  During the day, Andrea manages a group of libraries, community centres and Tourist Information Centres, but by night she is a writer, artist and witch.  She lives in the north east of England with her partner of 18 years and an adolescent Border Terrier.

Now, to my own writing process.

What am I working on?
I’m just polishing a short story called Birds, Sitting on a Telegraph Wire which was written from this photo prompt. writingI was early for an appointment and took myself off to Costa for an hour with my notebook and a memory of this particular photo taken at North Landing, Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire. By the time I’d finished my coffee this story had spilled onto the page. It’s about identity, a continuing theme of mine, and features Rose Haldane, protagonist of Ignoring Gravity.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write what I write, and that’s that. I don’t have a reader in mind, or a genre, or a publisher. I write the stories that come out of my head, the stories that interest me enough to make me want to get to the end.

Why do I write what I do?
At the moment I am committed to writing about Rose Haldane, identity detective. As well as the second book Connectedness, I have books three and four planned and a further two sketched out. Beyond those, I have firm ideas for two more stand-alone novels, completely different from Rose, and one YA adventure series of three. I don’t think my writing can be easily labelled, my interests are pretty eclectic and that is reflected in the ideas I get for my books.

How does my writing process work?
I sit at my desk every day and write. I am an avid collector of ideas, I totally believe in keeping a notebook. I take photos of anything which triggers an idea. I am a squirrel, storing away notes not nuts.

Now I am passing the ‘writing process blog tour’ baton to two fellow writers, who will shortly post about their own writing process. Please visit their blogs to find out how they write, their failsafe tricks, their foibles, and what they are working on now.

writingHarry Manners is a writer of science fiction and fantasy, occasionally dabbling in thrillers and horror. He’s been writing since he could hold a pencil, and used fan-fiction for training wheels in his teens. At 16, he wrote his first original sci-fi novel, and he’s been scribbling away ever since. His short fiction has been published by independent presses, and he is currently seeking publication with his agent for his debut novel. He often blogs about his writing and reading endeavours, interspersed with whatever quirks of life take his fancy. You can follow his tweets at @harry_a_manners, and find out more at his website: Harrymanners.net.



writingJudith Field lives in London, UK. She is the daughter of writers, and learned how to agonise over fiction submissions at her mother’s (and father’s) knee. She’s a pharmacist, medical writer, editor and indexer and in 2009, she made a New Year resolution to start writing fiction and get published within the year. Pretty soon she realised how unrealistic that was but, in fact, it sort of worked: she got a slot to write a weekly column in a local paper shortly before Christmas of 2009 and that ran for a several years. She still writes occasional feature articles for the paper.

She has two daughters, a son, a granddaughter and a grandson. Her fiction, mainly speculative, has appeared in a variety of publications, mainly in the USA but also in The Milk of Female Kindness [which is where I met her]. When she’s not working or writing, she’s studying part-time for a degree in English. She speaks five languages and can say, “Please publish this story” in all of them.  She blogs at www.millil.blogspot.com.


  1. Great stop on the blog hop Sandra. I love the title of that short story and am very intrigued to read it sometime. Where would we be without our notebooks to store those ideas that flash into our heads? And thanks for introducing us to these two writers.

  2. Another idea-hoarder! Like a squirrel, indeed.

    Great post, Sandra. Thanks for passing tour onto me. Exam week at the moment, but I’ll get to it as soon as they’re through!