This blog was featured on 07/23/2019
So, you're really not writing a book? Think again.

The launch of my memoir, Under the Birch Tree was a year ago this month, a time when I've been able to wake up with relief. I was free from constant worrying about the book, wondering if I wrote it well enough. My book’s construction was complete; it was done and I was done with it.

After its launch and like the drop of the final domino, I was immediately asked if I was writing another book. My response was just like its question—yes—quick, automatic and noteworthy, though writing it has not been in the way you would think.

At the start of our day, we may have good intentions or believe we are disciplined enough to set goals of writing a paragraph, a page, maybe an entire chapter. At the end of that day, a deep sigh of guilt creeps in; not a darn thing was written. We feel the guilt down to our gut.

But what if we looked at it in a different way?

After a year, post publication, I learned three things: my next writing project would not be a memoir, that I had unused scenes and a collection of first-person essays, and that I would write fiction. After rereading the deleted scenes, unpublished essays, and editorial and book reviews, I thought about the story I would develop. My mind was given an opportunity to process what it had been fed. I was working on my novel, just not in the sense of counted words or written paragraphs.

The resulting clarity and direction jumpstarted my writing. When I was ready to sit and to write, I didn’t hesitate; I jumped right in with sketching an outline and writing a first chapter. And best of all, I was guilt-free. I didn’t feel guilty because I wasn’t writing as in pen in hand or fingertips to keyboard. As a good friend of mine, a music composure who is working on a third and last movement said to me, “I’m working on it in my head and someday I’ll sit and write the music.”

The following suggestions have helped to feed my mind while working on my next project.

  • Move. Take a yoga class. And I star this one! Breathing, meditation and focusing on moving one’s total body through space is inspiring and motivational. Go on a bike ride, connect with the outdoors, garden, bake. Do anything with your hands.
  • Read a book in your genre. Though covert, you can get ideas for modeling your characters, writing effective dialogue, constructing scenes by reading a book.
  • Go to lunch with a friend. When he or she asks you what your new book is about, tell him or her everything that comes to mind. Don’t think you have to have an elevator pitch or a tight synopsis. The idea is to verbally recite the story to see how it sounds not only to you but also to someone who may be interested in your book-to-be.
  • Write to the beat, pace, of your own drum. Not every writer is an early morning, before dawn, kind of writer. Some may write into the late hours of the night. There is pressure to compare one writer’s way of getting the job done to another’s and how you fit in. Every writer is different. Do what works for you and only on your timetable. Don’t let the guilt bloom.

You've been writing your book all along and soon you will write your music as words. 


Let's be friends

The Women Behind She Writes

519 articles
12 articles

Featured Members (7)

123 articles
392 articles
54 articles
60 articles

Featured Groups (7)

Trending Articles

No comments yet