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Behind the Scenes: What I’m doing when I’m not writing

Earlier this year, I wrote the first draft of a novel. It was easy. The easiest thing I’ve ever written. I blogged about how easy it was. I felt a tiny bit smug. I’d planned this one a bit – I’m usually a pantser – but not too much and clearly that was going to be my process in future. Maybe all future novels would be this easy. Perhaps I’d cracked this writing lark.

Yeah. You’re all laughing. I know.

I left it a month or so before heading back in for the next draft. I told people who were interested in reading it that it wouldn’t take me long – the first draft was in great shape and I’m a fast rewriter anyway. Couple of weeks and that thing would be in the bag. That was in April. August is approaching. There is nothing in the bag.

So I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing since April to try to get the next draft done…

I bought a laptop


Every time I’m stuck on a book, I tell myself it would be easier if I had a laptop. I’d be able to write anywhere and everywhere. I could go to cafes. I could write in bed. I could write in the park when the kids are playing. Every time I talk myself out of it. This time? Not so much.

I also downloaded Scrivener, which I’ve tried a few times before (in moments of panic) but this time I actually read through the manual and started using it properly. And I like it. My free trial runs out tomorrow and I’ll be buying it. Probably.

The novel’s set in Paris so I set a photo of Parisian rooftops as the wallpaper, cos that’s sort of like writing, right?


I built a table


We’ve been having lovely weather. I can write outside on my new laptop. But our old garden table fell apart and we hadn’t got round to buying a new one. So I bought one. And built it. I have a cup of tea there in the morning while I worry about how I should be writing. (And a little bit about how I should be weeding.)

I search for inspiration…


No, none of these magazines have anything to do with the novel I’m writing. I’m not exactly looking for inspiration for the writing, I’m more looking for inspiration for the life I could have if I ever finish this book. Ahem.

I obsess about organisation 


Tidy house = tidy mind, right? I can’t be expected to create while my 10 years of O magazines are out of order, can I?

I stop faffing and just write. Eventually. 

I’ll keep you updated.

About K

YA writer. Voracious reader. Feminist. Home educator. Addicted to tea and Twitter.

5 comments on “Behind the Scenes: What I’m doing when I’m not writing

  1. Misha herwin
    July 22, 2013

    This is all so familiar. I too can spend a whole day faffing around and fooling myself that I’m actually working on my WIP. Is there a solution? Ignoring e mails, blogs and social media in general helps.

  2. Keris
    July 22, 2013

    A day? If only it was just a day…

    I do think that getting it done first thing – before even going online – works. As does setting a time limit (a tiny one, like 15 minutes). That’s what I’m trying now. But apparently it takes me months of faffing to get to that point.

  3. Sue Hyams
    July 25, 2013

    Oh my goodness, this could be me! Apart from the tidying though. I never feel the need to do that!

  4. C. J. Flood
    July 25, 2013

    Ha! This sounds familiar. BUT you still wrote a whole draft real fast. So you’re pretty golden.

  5. Keris
    July 25, 2013

    Ha! It’s only tidying. It’s not as if I ever clean…

Comments are closed.


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