Friday, January 8, 2016

What I've Been Up To (Part 3)

What I have been doing these last four months is writing. In fact, I've been working on a novel.

Back in June I decided it was time to start taking my writing more seriously, and I gave myself a year to write whatever, to figure out through writing what form I was most drawn to. (Some background: I have always thought I would write a book... someday.) I assumed that form would end up being nonfiction: essays, perhaps, or memoir. I was surprised to find out as I worked that I had a novel taking form. I've been working on it now since July.

I spent a number of months trying to figure out a writing routine: times of day, by hand or on the computer, that sort of thing. Not unlike trying to figure out a training routine! This wasn't easy with marathon training going on as well. Then at the beginning of November, with the marathon over, I decided to take part in a writing challenge, the National Novel Writing Month. Right from the start it was clear I wasn't going to be able to meet the word counts, but focusing on my writing for the month showed me what routines and methods will work for me.

I don't expect I'll finish this novel any time soon, so while I am letting people know that I'm working on it, I'm not giving out any details. I'm also developing some other projects, so I have something to turn to when I'm feeling stuck or disheartened at my slow pace on the book ("A month's work and it's in the wrong direction!" Yes, I did have that happen already.) Capturing ideas, taking notes, collecting scribbles. Saving newspaper clippings! All things I have always done but with no clear end in mind.

I'm having fun. It's not easy, of course - I can see why I haven't settled down to this before now. But I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.

With great satisfaction,


  1. The book that's finally beginning to leave my brain (after two and a half months!) apparently took over two decades to get written. Take your time and please send me an autographed copy when it is done.

  2. Novel writing is so enjoyable. I love that you're finally working on something you've wanted to do for a long time. Whether or not you ever share it, finishing it is a feeling unlike any other.

    1. Oh, that sounds like it was written by someone who has written a novel of her own... do tell!