WRITING MY NOVEL: Finishing the outlining & planning next tasks

writing my novel: finishing the outlining and planning the next tasks

It’s been seven weeks since I last did any writing on my novel. Seven weeks! That wasn’t in my plan. I know, I know, I’ve moved house and all but I’d only planned on taking two weeks away from it.

That’s because I know the longer I leave it the harder it is to re-start. To find that motivation. To sit down and pull out my outlining notebook and to go over the sheets and pages of notes…So I left it. Then I left it a little longer. And the mountain was looking harder and harder to climb every single day.

So I left it some more.

This has happened to me in the past. Go through this blog and you’ll find it littered with times I’ve restarted my novel then something happens in my life and it gets neglected. And, when that life thing has been sorted and has gone away I neglect to pick up the pieces of my novel and crack on. So it’s left for weeks, which turn into months. Which turns into the best part of a year.

But this time was different. I’d spoken about it on YouTube. I’d already made two videos on the subject of me Going For It. I’d started a post-it planning system that was just GENIUS and had helped me enormously before we moved house.

Yet still the days ticked by.

Then last week, Friday 16th August, I just felt enough was enough. I cleared our new dining room of boxes (I have an office but I’ve ripped up the flooring and it’s waiting for new carpet!) and took, from my office, a box full of things I thought I needed: my outlining notebook, the notes I’d made on outlining on sheets of paper, my post-it planning sheets, washi tape, pens, laptop and charger, my camera and spare battery, the tripod, and, of course, a pile of post-its - and I sat down at the dining room table (my former desk) and…pretty much faffed around for a few hours.

But then I switched the camera on on the overhead tripod and something happened. I actually started getting organised. I read through my notes. I made additions. Then the next working day (Monday) I came back to the dining room and continued. I set the timer for twenty minutes on my phone and, slightly anxious and daunted, made myself work for that amount of time.

It worked. The timer went off - I jumped - but I continued to outline my scenes. The camera battery died but still I continued. I finished Act II Part 2. Then, feeling pumped up, I started Act 3 and set the timer again.

Towards the end something rather magical happened. Something occurred to me whilst outlining the final scenes that the book wasn’t about one thing - something I had thought it was about for YEARS, but about another entirely. And there was a click as pieces of the puzzle started to come together.

If this is your thing, if you enjoy seeing how writers work, then you’re in luck because I recorded the process! It seems to be a big motivator for me this whole recording thing for YouTube. It helps me Get Things Done. So here it is. Me in my un-made-up glory (I am perhaps the antithesis of other YouTubers!)

writing my novel: finishing the outlining and planning next steps