The Return to Novel Writing

I apparently took a huge break from writing over the month of February. My early morning writing sessions burned me out and removed from me some of the other things I enjoy about the morning. I love taking time to sit and enjoy breakfast while I watch The Today Show. That’s my inner journalist at work. I absolutely hate starting the day without news and my one complaint about weekends. The morning news is never on as late as the weekly news, so by the time I wake up and turn on the TV during the weekend, the news has already concluded.

In a perfect world, I would sleep in until 9 in the morning, happily watch the morning news over breakfast, then pack up and make my way to a library or café to write. I don’t tend to be an attentive writer. I’ll cover a few pages in my note book, then spend the next hour looking at name meanings for a new characters. I’ll write a few more paragraphs before I do some random research and read some blogs. Everything gets mixed with the stories I’ve experienced in books, graphic novels and video games to become my inspiration.

When I think about the things that inspire me, I can’t be too hard on myself. While I’ve done a poor job at finishing novels in February, I did read a ton of manga. I’ve made it a little further through Assassin’s Creed and started to replay Final Fantasy VII. This, along with signing up for my first ever anime conventions, has made my blog particularly nerdy over the past week or so. That’s a great sign. It means my muses are awakening.

Maya Angelou

In January, I got a little more than two chapters written for the first draft of my book. I have no idea how many words that is because I find it easier to write if I am physically writing on paper. I can tell you that I’ve filled 27 and a half pages (14 page back and front and half of one side of another page). Who knows how many words that is. I’m trying not to think about it, though, for the same reason I try really hard to avoid paying attention to my blog stats. I will obsess over numbers, be they followers, word count or words written. At this stage in my book, I don’t want any of that. All I want is to open up everything in side of me and let the story flow out.

The one other thing that has held me up is that I’ve just introduced a second main character. Her and my first character are in a bit of a stalemate and I’m trying to figure out how it would end. As I write this, I realize I have tried to find a way for these characters to find a peaceful end, but maybe that’s the problem. Maybe their personalities are such that it would be illogical for them to get along instantly. I haven’t built a very trusting world, so it goes without saying that they won’t trust each other right away.

[writer’s block broken]


There was one successful thing that happened in February for my book. I had a jolt of inspiration one day driving home from work. It’s part of the climax and I hope it slaps readers in the face. The plan is for no one to see it coming, but now I do. It just makes sense.

E.L. Doctorow

There are a couple of people I should thank here as well. I follow Katie at The Fiction Diaries and Katie at Sass & Balderdash. Along with sharing the same name, they are also both writers working on writing a book. They are a source of motivation. I get that all writers write differently and at their own pace, but even so, a good kick in the rear can help push me out of a writing drought. I feel like both girls are way ahead of me and it makes me want to fill my big notebook with the rest of my draft.

At my own pace, I will finish the first draft of my book this year. Even if it is the worst thing every written by human hands, I will still be ahead of every person who says they will write a book and never starts (gotta think positive).

With that in mind, I am making a small goal for March. I hope to have all my blogs planned out and written over the weekend so I use my spare time over the week to write. Who knows if this will work, but it’s worth a try. Also, sorry for pulling of the guise. Let’s be honest, though, we all know many bloggers plan out a schedule their posts.

W. Somerset Maugham

Where do you find inspiration for writing? What things trip you up and how do you overcome them? Do you plan out your blogs most weeks? How super excited would you be if I published a book?

Peacoats & Plaid



10 thoughts on “The Return to Novel Writing”

  1. ” I am making a small goal for March. I hope to have all my blogs planned out and written over the weekend so I use my spare time over the week to write”

    While I don’t always have them totally written out in advance; what you’re describing is exactly what I do; I write down the themes, the content, and get it all planned out weeks in advance. Sometimes I will post something extemporaneously, like when I am in the midst of traveling, but I find it a lot easier to keep up with everything when its all planned out in advance.

    ” will still be ahead of every person who says they will write a book and never starts (gotta think positive).”

    I like that line a lot

    “Where do you find inspiration for writing? ”

    In one word; M-U-S-E…..ever since I was a teen Ive always found inspiration in people. Usually there will be one particular person that I find inspiration in as my muse. I was part of a debate once on whether using a muse is bad or good; because you’re sorta drawing off of that person and some people think of it as ‘using’ another person…….I dunno. But I do know that certain people at certain times in my life have literally stirred me to writing hundreds and hundreds of pages…..

    1. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having people as muses. What we experience influences our writing. Finding a muse is all about finding what stirs you the most. Turns out my nerdiness moves the writer in me.

      I wrote a very little bit yesterday and realized how bad my mistake was. I had to re-read some of what I had already wrote because I forgot whether or not I had added certain details. That just can’t happen again. I’m going to have to focus on my work each day, even if all I accomplish are some particularly mean glares at my note book.

      The line about being ahead of all people who haven’t written a book comes from a few things. I read somewhere once that, of all the people who say they want to write a book, only 1% will accomplish that goal. Of that 1%, very few will every be published. Right now, I am part of the masses. I want to be a part of that 1% that at least got it all written. This idea was combined with something I heard at one of the 5Ks I ran last year. It was a run for anyone. Big, small, young or old, it didn’t matter. You could walk or run or push a stroller. A speaker came our proclaiming that it didn’t matter what our time was. Just by being there, we were ahead of every person who choose to sleep in that day. I like that concept. There may have been thousands of us running, but there were millions of people sleeping in. It didn’t matter if I was the last of that thousand, because, even then, I was ahead.

      1. One of the fascinating things about my little coffee shop tour is hanging out with all the bloggers. Dude, Atlanta was crazy sitting there in one shop after another with all these bloggers/writers. Its like hanging out with people from this cool little club; so I came back really jolted and excited to get back to my own writing because there was so much energy that exuded from all the bloggers…. sort of like they were all coalesced into one big Muse for me from over the weekend

  2. Sounds like you needed that break. Maybe you will be more productive going forward.

    And I love that quote about writing being a perfectly acceptable form of schizophrenia.

    1. Right?! It’s especially true for this particular story as the main character is loosely based off of the person I wanted to be in high school. It’s like another me, living in another world.

      And, I’ve heard it said that no writer is sane. I see that proven time and time again. No teacher of language arts or write has ever seemed to be all there.

  3. i have a bunch of ideas written down in my planner and i also have to post on schedule. all of my blog posts are written and scheduled a week in advance otherwise there isn’t any way i’d be able to post as often as i do. planning is key for me to get my shit done; not only with blogging but life in general!

    1. Planning helps me remember where my priorities are, but my creativity tends to be spontaneous. I get my best ideas just as I am about to fall asleep and while driving to work. My plan for my blog is to collect my spontaneous ideas during the week and write them out on the weekend. Writing a novel is a completely different monster. The only thing I can think of is to give myself some time every day to focus on it. As a matter of fact, that’s what I’m going to do right now.

  4. I love posts like this, because– as a writer– I glean WAY too much enjoyment from reading and talking ABOUT writing (as opposed to doing it). This kind of stuff gets me all excited and I’m looking forward to hearing your progress. As of now, my schedule is so horribly busy (until mid-may) that I don’t do any writing other than my blog… I’m hoping to revise something over the summer and start a new book in the fall. *fingers crossed* I will need all sorts of inspiration when the time comes.

    As far as a schedule, YEAH GIRL I totally do it. I don’t write them in advance though– I wish. I plan out two months at a time (and leave some blanks in there for “holy shit, can’t believe this happened” and “omg my coworkers are stupid” posts) because I know what I want to be talking about for the most part. I’m the type of person who lays my clothes out every night because I dn’t trust myself to be able to make decisions in the morning, so this works for me.

    1. Last night proved to be a success. I got home from work, read, ate and then made my way to Starbucks to get some writing in. It’s so hard to overcome that self-doubt. As your write, you can’t help but think this is sucking just a little too much. There are many hard things about writing, but I’ve gotten better at pushing that voice back. I don’t care if I write the shittiest draft in the world. At least the story is out and then I can edit it to amazingness.

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