Friday, August 14, 2009

Dog Days of Summer: Melody Dawn McClarty Writing Habits and Goals

This week aspiring author Melody Dawn McClarty joins us to talk about her journey towards publication. Melody has three poetry books readying for release soon and you can follow her progress online at .

Melody writes every day, several times a day. I asked her about goal-setting. Does she do it and how?

Oh, absolutely. You have to pace yourself, manage your time and most assuredly set goals. I try to limit my writing goals to several categories like daily, weekly and by project. But because of my family I have to schedule all of my time it seems. That way I make sure that there is plenty of down time for myself and quality time with my family.

The best thing is that I write at home so my kids are very comfortable with knowing I’m there if they need me and that I’m doing my writing. My whole family is very supportive. So much so they have fun making sure that I am keeping my own goals.

What is Melody's most significant goal and what's she doing to get there?

I really want to write that one great Epic. Something that has a lasting impact. I love writing. And learning to write has been a real liberating experience. It’s all one big process. One that doesn’t ever really end if you want to learn to write well.

I asked her about writing rituals--is there anything she regularly does to get ready to write? Does she have any particular writing habit?

Hmmm, if I do its unconscious. My worst habit I think is getting up and writing in the middle of the night. It drives my family nuts. But they are very supportive of me so if theres a ritual its them making the rounds into my writing space first thing in the morning because I always take the first 5 hours of the day to write while my brain is focused and refreshed. My brain is going all the time about stories and ideas. So in the morning I spend time putting them all down on paper and take the opportunity to review what I have done already with a fresh, keen eye. That would definitely be one of my writing rituals.

The only other thing is my story board and sticky notes. I’d be lost without them.

(Sticky notes? Yep, my husband's got me hooked on using them now--very useful when arranging and rearranging.)
I asked Melody to talk a little about her current project (keeping things vague because it's not ready for public consumption yet). Here's what she said...

Currently I am working on a paranormal romance series and also a novel. But I have 3 books of poetry which are about to be published and will be available on

Well, right now my most current project is in a total research phase.

It’s a lot of work but also very exciting. New ideas spring up daily on how and where to take the story line and the characters. You start with your seed idea and then let it grow as you go.

When you start researching you're taking your spark of an idea and breathing life into it and no one, not even you are sure where that can end up.

The paranormal romance series I am finding a challenge but the novel seems to be moving along really nicely. The poetry books are just in final editing stages as I am doing all the artwork and photography for them myself in collaboration with my husband.

(Good for you! Husbands can be the best collaborators!)

Stop back in late this afternoon and read what Melody has to say about contests, her strengths and which authors she'd most like to be like as she grows as a writer. Think about that yourselves, too, aspiring authors--who do YOU wanna' be like and why?

Books a commenter has a chance at winning in this week's Dog Days of Summer selection include Rescue Me by Christy Reece and Suzanne Enoch's Before the Scandal. All you need to do to be entered is comment on one of Melody's posts. On Sunday I'll roll the dice and see who wins. I'll try contacting you via email (if I can find one for you). Otherwise the winner's name will be posted here and they'll need to contact me (with a physical address) within the week.

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