I’m Writing A Book….I Think

Some of you may know that I am currently working on my first novel. It’s fiction and is largely set in the city of Belfast but that’s all you’re getting out of me! I’m actually very reluctant to talk about it and I’ve deliberated all day about writing this post. But as I get asked about it occasionally I thought I would provide a little update. It’s as much for myself as for anyone else if I’m honest as I need you guys to hold me accountable and keep me honest.

After an initial flurry of words and ideas (40,000 words blasted out during a week off work) progress has slowed down considerably due to a variety of reasons. Fionnuala and I have little enough time as it is due to the pressures and demands of everyday life. Days merge into weeks and I realise that I’ve barely thought about the book let alone open up the laptop to write. Life is good but there is always a guilty sensation at the back of my head that I am allowing my lifelong dream to write a novel pass me by.

Anxiety often gnaws away at my ambition. Doubt and low self esteem are always waiting in the wings only too willing to throw a spanner in the works. It happens in all areas of my life and writing is no exception. The voice keeps telling me that I am delusional; that I lack the talent and discipline to write a novel. That it will never amount to anything. Because of that I have been almost glad to have excuses not to write. It is the elephant in my room.

The success of the blog has also caught me somewhat unawares. I’ve been amazed that people want to read my posts and even more amazed that they seem to enjoy them. I’ve committed to daily posts and, as such, have taken my eye of the ball when it comes to the book. If I could compare myself to an ostrich sticking its head in a sandbank then the blog is the sandbank. I’ve tried to convince myself that I need to establish myself as a writer first, via blogging, before I turn my thoughts to completing and seeking to publish a novel. But who am I kidding, it’s just another excuse.

It’s time though to forge on again. Yes I could be writing unpublishable garbage but there’s only way to find out. This novel is a nagging, niggling weight on my mind. It’s fluid and always changing and I just need to get it out of me and onto the screen of my laptop. I’m worried that it will be terrible but I’m more worried that I will never finish it. Something I know I will always regret. I want to do this. I need to do this. I will do this.

So from today I’m recommitting to the book. 500 words a day or more ideally. I’ve found that I’m not a storyboarder. I need to be involved in the physical act of writing for the ideas and concepts to flow. I need to vomit the words out and then worry about structure and format later. My drafts will be rougher than rough but that’s how I seem to operate. The fine tuning and sandblasting will follow that. If that means skipping a blog post in order to maintain my word count then so be it. I’m sure you can all cope without me for a day or so and Fionnuala, Hannah and Rebecca are more than able blogging deputies.

Thank you all for your unerring support these last few months. This blog has changed my life beyond words and you have been part of that. The book will be the next stage of the journey. Whatever happens I can lie on my deathbed and say the following. I married a wonderful woman, was blessed with three kids, ran at least seven marathons and wrote a book. Four childhood dreams which became reality. Not bad for a weirdo geek boy.

Thank you WordPress.

76 thoughts on “I’m Writing A Book….I Think

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  1. I will be one of the first people in line to buy your book! πŸ™‚ Good luck as you start the writing process. πŸ™‚ Keep us updated with how it’s going!

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  2. Stalker here again. My mom wrote and published a book right before I ran the fifty mile. Everyone that has read it says it is awesome. I being a terrible daughter have yet to read it. Get it written publish it and see what happens!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you’ve an idea you’ll write a book then you cannot disappoint yourself, you have to write it. Writing a novel is not as easy as some may think but I feel sure you will succeed and I wish you the best in doing so.

    Shirley Anne

    Liked by 2 people

          1. You’ve just made my day … my week and month actually. Thank you. In this first four weeks of writing a blog which I’ve so enjoyed, I’ve been awarded three awards which whilst making me jolly chipper, have not had such an impact as you saying that to me. Thank you very much. 😘

            Liked by 1 person

    1. This just says it all…being a friend to yourself is the hardest thing to do, but it is what needs to be done. Too many of us don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we have accomplished. (I fit very well into this category.) I think that taking the time and energy to blog is the backbone of your book. Most likely, you have learned a lot from blogging. If not from others, then from yourself. I have only been blogging for less than a month, but I have had so much encouragement and responses to my posts. Take that with you…As of now, you have 30 comments on this post alone! You can come back to the blog to help you with motivation if you find yourself stuck. This is an awesome community of support. Good luck with your book!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Bravo! You’re right not to worry about those early drafts – just get the words on paper and then try to see it all fresh when you come to edit. Your tenacity and stamina are an inspiration – keep it up.

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  5. Adored your blog. I love your writing style and can see you making it into a wonderful novel (remember I am a Lit Major and English teacher and recognise a good style), it takes much courage to make it public. I have been working on mine since year 7, so to be brave enough to tell us all is to be admired. You can add me to the list for a signed copy when you get it published!

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  6. Now that you’ve told us you’ve put yourself on the hook, now take it out of your cheek acknowledging the strength that take took, then write not to complete that book, write for the love of words now it’s time to cook.

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  7. I totally know how you feel. I’m super shy about discussing either of the novels I am working on. I am still working on creating characters for my fiction piece, and I feel like I don’t have a right to say I’m working on a novel if I don’t write daily. The truth is, though, if we are working on it somehow, we are working on a novel. I can’t wait to see what you create! πŸ™‚

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  8. As a writer myself I can feel your pain and fear. Went to a book launch last week for the second novel published by a local author. I asked her about her process of writing. Being an older person with no children at home does help and the support of a spouse. She was also a regular words per day person but concentrated on getting the words down and worrying about editing later. I wrote a history book for my church’s 150th anniversary almost 10 years ago and had to manage work and writing so took a bit of doing. When I was working as a journalist, you had deadlines so just had to get on with it. Find your space.
    I am currently doing Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever program which is all about goal setting. One of the key things is habit goals to help achieve the big goals. I would set some mini-goals ie. so many words per day/week, then maybe a monthly goal of one chapter/research project. What I like about Michael’s approach is that it is holistic, so making time for God, family, health, finances is included in aiming for our dreams or goals. Any way, this may or may not be helpful, just passing it on in case it is! Well done you in starting the book and owning it! I am feeling inspired by others to write my first novel too. Blessings!

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  9. Good for you! Its the hardest thing I have ever done (write a book), yet the most revealing of my soul. Your blog is wonderful and I cannot wait to read you book. Rest assured God will take you to the completion of this task. Blessings.

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  10. I think it’s a great idea to write a book. I had thought about writing a book but never thought of writing a full length book until my mother came up with the idea of me writing a book on some of the ideas and thoughts I had from previous blog posts.

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  11. I had to stop and remember that I was not reading one of my posts! I, too, want to write. Recently, I saw one of my former students and the first things she said was, Is your book wrote yet? I said no and I don’t know if anyone would read it, and she said that she would definitely buy it. So, yeah, I am considering it. Thanks for putting my ideas so wonderfully on your blog.

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  12. As someone that doesn’t do marathons, it’s my understanding that novel writing is similar. It’s not a race, but a series of goals paced out to the finish line. Where you do both, I’m certain that if you apply a similar approach to writing as you do for training marathons you’ll get there.

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  13. Self-doubts are a b*tch, I know all about them through my on-going struggles. I like that you are ‘grabbing the bull by the horns,’ as it were. The daily commitment to write is great, that you are being accountable about it even greater. Please do keep writing Steven. I am no literary critic, but I can recognize talent when I read it. My sole piece of advice is to make time to pray about the writing (and your writing in general), God does promise to help us to do things when we submit to His leading.
    Chuck

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  14. Keeping you accountable πŸ™‚ Have you written today ? I do enjoy your blogs and am blessed by it’s success!

    I think I will join your goal of writing 500 words/day. You have inspired me.
    I have had many starts and stops. Longs stints of writing nothing. Some, because I have been discouraged with the lack of success at my blog, while other times it is pure laziness. It is time to set my sites on something new for my own self accomplishments.

    Blessings this day friends

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  15. I’m sorry I missed this… Stephen you can write. I must send you a reminder every day I guess. Since I can often hear your criticising voices from inside of you over all that distance and through words. πŸ˜‰ did I mention yet: you can write. πŸ™‚
    Here’s one suggestion. Don’t go by words. Go by time. Words are too unreliable to go by and only give you more stuff for your nagging inner voices when you don’t meet your target. Do 15 minutes (plus more when you can’t stop) eg.
    Write the book. Do it for yourself. And your family. And me. Because you promised me a copy. If you’re secretly hoping for acknowledgement you may get hurt deeply. I trust you’ll do good. And now: you can write. Go to work.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. With my first novel, it took me a long time to find a balance. I wrote only when inspired, and struggled through the pieces. But when I found a balance, it helped me, and I worked on plowing through.

    I write at least a page worth which is around 375 words-400 words. What I’ve been working on doing is write my page first, before writing a blog post. I hear you. I was becoming all about blogging, which I do deeply care for. But the book is important as well.

    I congratulate you on writing straight through. I always reread my work from the previous day, and make changes or work on parts that don’t feel right to me.

    It is truly a blessing your family enjoys blogging and I think their support will definitely help you. πŸ™‚ You have mine as well. You can do this!

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