Jamie Raintree is an author, a writing business teacher and the creator of the Writing & Revision Tracker. She is also a mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi. Her debut women’s fiction novel, Letting Go of You, will be released in Fall 2017.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?
Wow! Pulling no punches on that one! Honestly, there is SO much great writing advice out there that I can’t think of one single thing that’s the most important. In this moment, I will say that I’ve learned the hard way how necessary it is to foster the writing habit. I’m not one who subscribes to writing every single day—I learned a while ago that family commitments on weekends are too disrupting and only set me up to fail—but most every week day I write. Keeping that momentum going prevents me falling into a rut, which is honestly the worst thing a writer can do for their creativity and their souls.
How has this helped you as a writer?
This helps me because when I allow my writing to slip away from me and not be a consistent part of my day, I start to lose confidence in myself, the doubts creep in, and I fall into a very negative state of mind. A writer needs to be writing! It’s important for our mental health, even when it feels like crap or like we are throwing words into an abyss. The act of putting words on the page and accomplishing something—anything—keeps us connected to our purpose. No matter what else might happen during the day, if I put words to the page, I feel like I’ve succeeded, and that feeling of success brings me back to the page tomorrow.
Mac or PC?
I’m an all-Apple-all-the-time girl, and I’m never going back!
Do you use Word or Scrivener?
Neither, actually! I use this awesome program called Storyist, which is similar to Scrivener but, in my opinion, much more user friendly. Beware—right now it’s only available for Mac users. (I have a blog post comparing Storyist and Scrivener if you’d like to check it out.)
Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?
Neither, generally. I still prefer to do it the old fashioned way, with a notebook and paper. My favorite notebook is the disc-bound notebook I got from the office supply store that has separators and moveable pages. It’s much more organized than the average notebook, and organization is a huge love of my life. (Yes, I know how weird this is.) (I also have a blog post on this. The notebook…not how weird I am.)
Do you have any writing rituals?
Forcing myself to get off Facebook? Also, I always have to have a drink on hand (coffee or Zevia usually) and music playing in the background. I make a playlist for each of my books filled with songs that capture the feeling of my story. It gets me into that emotional space instantly!
Do you start by writing or researching first?
Luckily, I don’t have to do a lot of research since I write contemporary women’s fiction. If I do have to research, it’s usually things about locations or details for my characters’ chosen career paths. I don’t know what I need to know about those things until I start writing. That said, if I do come across something I need to research, it’s very hard to keep writing until I find that information. Trying to gloss over the details instead of being able to accurately spell it out in a way that enriches my story trips me up.
Favorite spot to write in the winter?
Oh, by the fireplace for sure. The ambiance is so comforting. My living room has a gas fireplace but if I want to write in my office, I have an electric faux fireplace that does the trick.
Favorite spot to write in the summer?
At the park, on a blanket in the grass, under a shady tree, while my kids play. Literally all my favorite things at once. It’s heaven.
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Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco