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note to self: go outside

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." —  Henry David Thoreau credit My phone died recently. Not like died because of its charge — permanently died. I'm not the only one whom this has happened to, I'm sure, and this isn't a complaint. Rather, it's an observation on how different the landscape of my life has been without it. I've been reading more, watching more TV, doing less doomscrolling. I found that I've missed my phone a lot less and simultaneously a lot more than I expected. And I've been noticing a difference in my mental state. My mental health is, apparently, linked in part to the device I hold in my hand 99% of the time. Who knew? However, it's still been challenging lately, for more reasons than just my phone, and my sister invited me to go outside with her. Th

A Novel Idea: All About the Writing Process

A Novel Idea

A Novel Idea is a weekly blog meme for writers hosted by Ashley @ Ashley Aspires. Please do check it out! I really love the questions for this week; they're all really great and I'm so excited to be able to share my answers with you!

What does your writing process look like? Do you sit down and plot your story before you start writing, or do you usually start writing before you plot?
It honestly depends, but some of my favorite novels have started without any prior plotting. While I do outline sometimes, and have in the past, I haven't actually sat down to plot out an entire story, point by point, in a long while. I really like seeing where the story takes me. I do generally have a basic idea of where the story is going, though, that I hold on to mentally. Mostly, I keep track of plot events by random notes, my own mental thoughts, and Pinterest boards. I generally get more excited about a mood or setting or feeling of a story rather than plotting out every little detail of it.

Do you have any strange writing habits? Such as, only writing in one certain place, etc?
Great question! The only thing I can think of is that often I do some of my best writing in the quietest hours of the night, usually about 12 am to 3 am, though on very rare occasions I have found myself writing at 5 am. Writing in the early morning has often been really inspiring for me. Also, I don't do this 100% of the time, but I really love writing by the window facing out to our backyard. This isn't exactly strange, though. ;)

Do you usually write on paper or on the computer? (Or on a typewriter?)
I really used to love writing on paper and typing it up later, but I can't as much anymore because my arm cramps up too badly. So I honestly mostly write on the computer, in Google Docs. (Though I will make notes and such by hand sometimes, and they often end up as doodles.) I have also occasionally used the notes app on my iPod when in a pinch, which is really helpful!

And dude, owning a typewriter and writing on it is a life dream of mine! Seriously, that would be awesome.

What authors inspire you to write better? Is there an author you’d like to be like?
I'd really love to be like the greats, of course--Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and although I haven't personally read her books, J.K. Rowling. Additionally, Suzanne Collins, with The Hunger Games Trilogy, and Maggie Stiefvater, with The Scorpio Races, have both influenced my writing style and encouraged me to keep pressing on and writing my very best. As for a writer I'd personally like to be like, I choose Veronica Roth. She's fabulous and I love the way she integrated such beautiful messages (and her worldview) into her books without it coming across as preachy. Her books are also gritty, real, relatable, and beautiful in a sense, and I really appreciate that. They balance romance and adventure perfectly, and especially writes about something bigger than ourselves; quests, wars, and love. That's exactly where I'd like my writing to end up on the spectrum.

What advice would you give to people who want to start writing?
I've said this a lot on this blog, but just write. It can be so easy to get caught up in the logistics of it all--what POV to use, what the story details to be. I'd like to encourage you to throw that to the wind and just write what your soul tells you to. That's the heart of writing, honestly. Let your soul bleed onto the pages. Be you, and write about what makes you happy; write about the desires of your heart, and write about everything you want your existence in this world to be. Viewing real life through the lens of fiction provides so much clarity and can help you appreciate life so much more. Write from the bottom of your soul, and you never can go wrong.

Check out A Novel Idea every Saturday at Ashley Aspires!


  1. This was so fun to read! Thanks for sharing your writing process!

  2. I loved this post! A lot of what you said could be used for me too, but our answers sounded completely different. Haha! I especially love your advice for writers: Of course, writing is the key! Just sit down and do it! I need that advice often!

  3. I find most writers have this desire to use typewriters, but none of us actually have one! :)

    I love your advice for aspiring writers. That, the idea of just writing what your soul wants to write, is so important and definitely needs to be said over and over as a reminder. And also, it's encouraging to be told to write what you love, not what your best friend, your dog, your mom, that kid down the street who eats nothing but mayonnaise on saltines, wants you to write. Only what you want to write. And no matter what it is, that's okay. :)

    Awesome answers to these intriguing questions!

  4. Great post! I love handwriting things too. But it's kind of time consuming to have to type it up again. That and I tend to write bits and scenes in different notebooks and end up loosing something. :P

    Veronica Roth is currently my favorite also. :) I definitely admire how to she wrote such an amazing story, but it has some deep life lessons in it. Truth. Not even as an overall theme or "lesson," just bits and pieces of things that Tris thinks and learns throughout her life. I love that.

  5. I do some of my best writing in the quietest hours of the night, usually about 12 am to 3 am, though on very rare occasions I have found myself writing at 5 am. – What? Those are my hours, exactly! The "middle of the night" hours I mentioned. Weird.

    That's the heart of writing, honestly. Let your soul bleed onto the pages. – That line is beautiful! I love the way you put it. (It reminds me of The Book Thief, actually. Have you read that?)

    I like how you said that some of your favorite novels come without plotting. And I liked your advice very much. Because plotting is the bane of my existence! Okay, not quite. But it's not exactly my favorite thing in the world, unless I happen to already have the basic plot. (I'm generally hating plotting right now because my current WIP is being rather secretive about its plot.)

    I still haven't gotten around to reading Divergent yet, but I will! I can't wait to, either.

    the writeress || barefoot in the snow

  6. I have come to believe that all writers do their best writing past the stroke of midnight, and are undeniably attracted to those ancient machines called typewriters. Productivity could be enhanced if we all found an antique dealer, bit the bullet and bought a 'mobile printing press' and used it late at night. Can you imagine the inspiration?

    1. I like it. In fact, that sparks a story idea... or meshes with one I've already got. Or something like that. I've got a picture, anyway. I'll have to figure it out later. Thanks!

      the writeress || barefoot in the snow


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