Saturday, March 5, 2011

How to start a novel.

1. Go somewhere quiet. Like, the library!

2. Check your e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. Just to get those out of the way.

3. Open a word processor of your choice.

4. Stare at blank page for precisely six minutes.

5. Stare off into space for another two.

6. Notice how the woman a table away apparently has no problem getting her brain functioning if the rapid motion of her fingers across her keyboard is any indication.

7. Contemplate your hair. Notice split ends. Count back to last haircut. Wait, it’s been A YEAR ALREADY?

8. Place hands over your keyboard because maybe if you go through the motion, the words will come.

9. Stare at fingers hovering over the keys; swear to quit biting fingernails.

10. Regret not going to Starbucks.

11. Slump back in chair; think about how quiet the library actually is.

12. So quiet, you may have to do serious bodily harm to the man reading the newspaper. I mean, really, does he have to turn pages quite that loudly?

13. Debate putting headphones in. Decide angry rap music probably won’t help.

14. Realize you have to use the restroom.

15. Spend eight minutes looking for the restroom. Contemplate asking an employee, but decide against it ‘cause that’d be too easy.

16. Browse the endless aisles of books on your way back to your table. Wonder if your masterpiece will ever grace the shelves. Think, not at this rate.

17. Sit back down.

18. Repeat steps 2 - 14.

19. Finally realize you still haven’t written a word; refuse to feel at all defeated. After all, it’s only the first day!

20. Pack up and head to Starbucks for much deserved latte.

21. Write new blog post.


  1. Cherie BeyondMarch 05, 2011

    I am desperately trying to remember what writer gave the best description of the writing process, which went something like: procrastinate for 9 hours straight, write in a panic for an hour, drink, sleep, repeat.It was like that. Only funnier and truer.

  2. Cherie BeyondMarch 05, 2011

    PS- I can't believe how many naked male chests are exhibited in the Goodreads section of your sidebar. That's, uh, interesting.

  3. Stephanie HarshMarch 05, 2011

    I... I know. (hanging head) I've thought about taking the stupid thing off my site, but I'm SO CLOSE to just not caring.

  4. You GO. 'Cause I can't wait to buy it and read it and isn't that enough?I mean really?Go baby. Write.

  5. MichelleSGMarch 06, 2011

    Pen and paper. Just jot down what your general thoughts are. Don't bother with sentences unless you're describing something more complex. Don't go into the computer thing and full writing until you've hashed out your random plot thoughts. 53 times minimum. Expect to repeat this process a multitude of times. Don't be surprised if what you end up with is not what you started out with.

  6. MichelleSGMarch 06, 2011

    And if you need more detailed help getting started motivated this is my writer friend's website/blogClstegall.comHe has some interesting pointers. He recently self published and is on a roll.

  7. have done more than I ever have in the writing department so I'm impressed. And may I add...I don't mind the naked male chests with amazing muscles ~ eye candy when I visit. ;)

  8. [...] maintain.) I’ve been to this particular library before. Once. I wrote the post “how to start a novel” while I was there. Walking in, I was totally taken aback to that first visit. You see, [...]