Writing is Hard | WIP Update | February 2021 | Power of Notebooks

Previous post: Writing is Hard | WIP Update | January 2021 | Ruddy Red

This writing update is little bit of a detour but an important one I want to talk about. In my previous post I mentioned a ruddy red notebook I had that meant a lot to me growing up. Basically, it was the tangible version of my imagination. To this day it is one of my dearest treasures.

Is the writing in there absolute garbage? Yes, 100% and it will never see the light of day.

But it was an important step on my journey of becoming a writer. Hell, it was an important step on my journey of becoming me, and who I am today. So it’s precious.

I’m sure some of you, if not most, have kept a journal or notebook growing up. Whether it was just for writing down your thoughts, creating stories or scribbling out the daily struggles of living. Anyone else also, low-key, have a diary too when they were growing up? Lock and key included, do not open marked on the front.

Writing might seem like a chore to some but it’s valuable. It’s a written record of your thoughts, your emotions, your life told through memories or experiences or stories. It helps you remember where you came from and also very importantly where you want to go.

Also can I just say it is the one thing that will listen to your venting with no complaints? Just the paper, a pen and you. No judgment all around. It clears out the clutter of your anger, your embarrassment, and your sadness but also highlights your joy too.

Back then, when I was a wee lass, I had no intention of ever being a writer. In fact I think I never wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a hero. I watched cartoons ad infinitum because the characters were always saving the day. I read because magic was real when I saw it on the page. I played video games because I wanted to fight monsters with a sword. And when you are a kid the only chance you get to do that is through stories. (Mostly because your mom won’t let you out into the woods by yourself to see if there are Charmander waiting to be caught, but I digress.) The point is that a notebook changed my life in becoming an integral step to who I eventually wanted to be. A little thing that meant so much.

These were just thoughts I wanted to highlight and to see if they reach or resonate with any of you guys whether you write or read or do anything else. Food for thought.

You never know what you can discover as you just let your imagination run free and basically that’s what writers do every time they sit down to work. But it doesn’t just have to be a writer, it could be anyone.

So for February I stepped back into the muddy waters of my work in progress, The Lowell Saga or TLS for short. No lie there was a bit of a struggle at first to get acclimated back in. It’s like in the summer when it’s hot as balls outside but the pool is Antartica. Sometimes you have to tread in slowly and other times you just cannonball right in. February needed slow treading but as I write this I am fully submerged back into the story, the chlorine reaching right over my shoulders. (Also, low key, kinda loving this analogy.)

I couldn’t write everyday BUT I wrote a little most days and my word count is slowly climbing back up. I would like to get back up to at least writing 1,000 words a day, and even though I’m not there yet I know I’ll get there. I’m a slow writer so I bow down to those of you who can bang out 5K in a sitting. Maybe one day I’ll get there too, who knows? Never say never!

(Me, bowing down to y’all)

I would say I’m in the middle bit of the story now. The messy middle I like to think of it as honestly. The beginning is down and the end I can see. The middle though, like I mentioned, is messy. This part has the most room I guess for my creativity to expand is the nicest way to phrase it. I’ve gotten a bit stuck here and there but whenever I do I reach out to… the internet!

Neil Gaimon gave some great advice about whenever you are stuck to always go back to what your characters want. And he is 100% right. Whenever I get stuck I rely on that and then I find the answer to drive my story forward. Susan Dennard also gave some great advice when she talked about the wonder of ‘magical cookie’ scenes! These are the scenes you want to write that propel the story forward as well. So if I combine the advice of two of my favorite authors I find I’m writing scenes I actually enjoy writing and the story keeps moving! The only downside to doing this is I am going to have to string together all these scenes cohesively in later drafts but that’s a problem for a later day!

Let us just get this first draft down, am I right?

So guys how are your WIP going? Do you have any tips for writing the middle? Let’s talk!

Till next time,

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word count: 66,772

16 thoughts on “Writing is Hard | WIP Update | February 2021 | Power of Notebooks

    1. Exactly!! Neil is one of my favorite writers of all time and he is a brilliant teacher when it comes to writing advice. And thank you, I will keep moving forward no matter how long it takes. Hugs right back!! ❤ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I loved the bit about your notebook, it’s so sweet ❤ although I don’t keep a diary anymore (I was never really able to keep up with it as a kid, but oh did I try) I still have a journal that I can just write whatever comes to mind, especially if I’m having a bad day. It’s such a great way to clear my head while keeping the habit of writing. Very calming, would highly recommend.
    Good luck with your writing! I hadn’t heard about these tips from Gaiman and Dennard but they sound very helpful, will definitely try it out in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Writing everything out really DOES make you feel better! It’s like your getting all the feelings out of your mind and putting them on the page 😀 Thanks for the lovely comment Juli ! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jai Lynn!
    Haha, I didn’t dream of being a writer either. I dreamed of being a Pokemon Master or a Sailor Scout!! I dug up my old diaries (and not to mention some short stories I wrote for grade 6 English class) and read them. They were cringe-worthy and hilarious, but you’re right that they are important to building the person and the writer we are today 🙂
    That’s great to hear that you’re in the middle of TLS! Yes, it’s the mucky middle, but that means that you’ve made it through the beginning! I definitely get stuck in the middle of every single novel, and I always get that feeling of “uh I’m never going to make it through this”. But YOU WILL! The number one tip I have is to just get through it. Don’t worry about story structure at this point and just do whatever you need to do to make it to the next plot point. Another tip I’ve heard from an author: throw problems at your characters and make it as hard for them as possible. Something I’ve tried for my vampire MG novel: skip to the next plot point that you know will happen then continue writing from there, afterwards go back and fill in the middle. These are just some tips that helped me 🙂
    Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sophie, Sophie, Sophie!!! ❤ I love everything about this comment. I feel so //seen//. I wanted to be a Sailor Scout and a Pokemon Master too!! Omg, like I still do if I'm being honest, and I think that's part of the reason why I'm a writer lol!! And thank you so much for the advice!! I REALLY REALLY needed this encouragement right now because I was getting so discouraged. I feel like my scenes are all over the place and I'm getting //anxiety//. But your words just made me feel so inspired and so much better ❤ Thank you for the encouragement and sharing your experience with me it's making me feel so much better 😀 I'll keep going and do whatever it takes!! Sending all the best your way Soph!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I absolutely had notebooks when I was young where I jotted down every thought and story and imagined world that came into my mind! I have no idea where they’ve disappeared to, and reading them again would probably be so embarrassing, but I treasure them nonetheless.

    Middles of drafts are always the hardest part for me. I really love that Neil Gaiman advice—I’m going to have to keep that in mind! Best of luck with your drafting ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg that is the exact feeling I have Margaret when I reread my old stories, lol. They are so EMBARRASSING. (But necessary to have gotten me to where I am now!) And yes middles are tricky but I have to just keep plugging along 😀 Thank you so much and I’m sending good writing vibes your way too!! ❤


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