Wow! This is the longest question I’ve ever been asked. I’m going to do my best to tackle each of these issues… so bear with me.
My “down and dirty discipline” on a daily basis varies because I’m not only a writer, but a mom and a wife as well. My evenings and weekends are a crap shoot for writing…sometimes I’m productive and sometimes there’s just too much going on. I accomplish the most during the weekdays between the hours of 8:00am and 2:30pm, which is when my kids are at school. It is also not unusual to find me up between the hours of 2:00am and 4:00am rapidly typing away.
I don’t officially shoot for a particular word count, however, I am satisfied if I can knock out a minimum of 3,000 words during the day. Sometimes it’s less and sometimes it’s more.
With regards to writer’s block…it’s never been an issue for me. (knock on wood) That may sound crazy, but there are enough hours during the week when I am unable to write because of everything else going on; so by the time I am able to sit down and write again, I am chomping at the bit to get my thoughts on paper.
I never make an outline before writing, nor do I frame up the plot or organize the events. I usually start with a cup of coffee and one simple idea… either a place or a person and the story builds from there. When I’m working on a novel I am thinking about it constantly. In the shower, lying in bed, driving, cooking, switching loads of laundry…it is prevalent in my thoughts and I am always mulling through what I think might happen next.
Where does my inspiration come from? Everywhere and everyone. A name can inspire me, or a newspaper or magazine article. Something I hear on the radio can prompt revelation and birth a new story. Mostly, though, I give credit to God because, after all, He created the creativity that enables me to write in the first place.
I hope I’ve adequately answered your question. If I haven’t, shoot me another email and I’ll try again.