What I Learned










These are some pix of the state of my office while frantically finishing my novel. Notice my essentials: chocolate, Starbucks and an empty wine glass.





On Thursday, March 15 I finished and submitted a draft of my novel-in-stories to this contest. I’d seen it in the December issue of Poets & Writers and wished I had something ready. My awesome writing group convinced me that I could definitely get my current work-in-progress done by the deadline. I had my doubts, but I focused and worked hard almost every day, putting in nine hours that final day. I learned a lot over those three months of intense work.

I learned that:

–  it is incredibly satisfying to be able to say “I wrote a novel” rather than “I’m writing a novel”

–  I can work and write in an incredibly focused way, especially with a deadline prodding me

–  I work best in forty-five minute sessions, followed by fifteen minutes of some other mindless task like dishes or folding clothes or browsing through the bookstore, letting the scene/story percolate

–  when I am immersed in my writing but not drowning, the story is always simmering. I go to bed thinking about the characters and story and wake up thinking about them.

–  I can’t read very much when I working so hard on my own writing. There’s not enough space in my brain to contain it all.

–  I have several phrases and words that I like and use more often than I should

–   I actually have a revision process that works for me

– that at some point I have to just let it go out into the world, trusting that I wrote to the best of my ability


4 thoughts on “What I Learned

    • Thank you, Brenda! it is definitely a wonderful feeling! I’m about to post an entry about finding that next project to sink into.

  1. Fantastic, well done and good luck, I just LOVE all those lessons, I’m curious to know if there is an editing tool that picks up overused phrases, I’d like to know what mine are, I am sure we all have them. Total immersion in a novel and its characters, its wonderful.

    • Claire- Thank you! I didn’t really use an editing tool. I just noticed as I went along and thought, “hmmm… that sounds familiar.” Then I’d do a search and find it somewhere else. And my awesome writing group picked up many of them as well:)

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