When I sit down to write I have a process. It’s not an exact science and it’s not the same every time, but it’s still a process.

The first part starts with getting comfortable, which takes a few minutes. My computer is situated directly next to our balcony door so now with it being winter the process includes a terry cloth robe I’ve had since I was a teenager and a warm blanket wrapped around my legs. Next I choose the music. As previously stated – I MUST have music when writing. If I’m working on my current novel, The Judas Tree, I have a specific playlist that I put on. Even if I’m just editing, which is the stage I’m at with that novel, I must have that music playing. It brings that setting and the characters to the forefront of my mind. If I’m working on my new novel, which is still in research and first scene stage I pick a lot of random different music. Anything that will keep me motivated for the time being – I haven’t found the soundtrack for that novel yet as I’m still introducing myself to the characters and the setting.

Then I spend a few minutes just listening to the music. I’ve heard of authors talking about the inner monologue they give themselves as they start to write or as they’re writing but that’s not my style. I spend more time trying to wipe my brain clear. Empty it of all but the music and my muse. I let my characters take over, feel the setting take over so that if I look around I’m seeing myself in the novel, no longer sitting at my desk. I have to be lost in it. There can no longer be a me with an inner dialogue. I use the music as a focus and literally dive head first into the book.

On a good day when I’m writing it takes a while to get my attention. During NaNoWriMo when I was focused my husband could stand there watching me and I wouldn’t even know he was there. He laughed a few times at the dazed look I would get when I looked up, as if I didn’t know where I was. When I’m writing it’s just like when I’m engrossed in reading, I get lost. I’m so focused on what’s before me that the world drops away. I’m not worried about noises or the cats running around at my feet because I just don’t notice them – my brain flips inside out.

There is no inner monologue because for those moments, hours, days, when I’m writing it’s just the characters talking and spilling their secrets to me. Sometimes they’re yelling at me for not getting it right, other times they sit quietly and patiently waiting for me to notice them sitting beside me. I am at their mercy and I love it, as strange as it sounds.

So what is your process when you’re writing? What is your inner monologue?