I wrote today.  And I’m not talking about email or blogging, either.  I’m talking about the drive to Tully’s, set up computer, set up keyboard, put on headphones, play Death Cab for Cutie a half dozen times kind of writing.  I was working on Chapter 1, scene 1 of my next 5 Spot novel, a book I’m calling Hot Seat for now for lack of better title. 

It’s hard starting a new book.  I usually don’t like it as the words seem awkward, all rough angles and bare spaces.  The problem when I start a new book is that I don’t know the characters.  I know the over all story but I don’t know what motivates her, or those around her.  I don’t know what she wants, or where she’s going, or why she even needs to exist. 

Fortunately today I was prepared for the difficulties.  I ordered a huge green tea sweetened with just a pinch of stevia.  I had a CD case full of music options to lull me in.  I even had an apple and a protein bar in the event I was ‘suddenly’ hungry.   And even more importantly–I had the perfect amount of time.  Not quite two hours.  Perfect.

By the time I set everything up and settled in I had maybe 90 minutes to write.  Not too long, but long enough to get the book started.  And all I had to do was write a scene.  One scene, any scene.  It didn’t have to be the first scene in the book, or an important scene.  It was just a “it’s okay to write scene”,  or in other words, “you’re safe, you can write badly now, I will still love you anyway” scene.

You see, I like writing when I can write crap and have time to write crap.  I like writing when there isn’t a clock ticking or a gun to my head.  I like trying to figure out my characters and find the surprises each story holds.  I like being entertained by my own imagination and intrigued by potential conflicts.  But to find the good stuff in a story I need time, and lots and lots of work, which requires energy.  And patience.  And courage.

I’m proud of myself for writing today.  I know it’s my job, and my career, and identity and all, but still, it’s hard work and it feels good to meet my goal.  Maybe if we writers (women?) were nicer to ourselves, we’d find it easier to meet our goals.


  1. -_- I keep forgetting that blogs tend to delete anything after a less than symbol because of scripting. Anyway, *insert hearts here* Death cab? You are SUCH a teenager!

  2. I am very excited to hear that you are writing again!! Can’t wait to hear how this goes for you and I love looking forward to more your books! Happy Writing:)

  3. Hip hip hooray!! I know we have Mrs. Perfect coming this spring but knowing you have another one cookin’ is just thrilling!!! I crave Jane Porter fiction and you never fail to deliver!!!! Love ya and good luck with the rest of the writing.

  4. That’s awesome Jane! Sounds like you are on your way to another awesome book! Can’t wait to read Mrs. Perfect and the new gem you are working on. Keep up the great work!

  5. Contrary to that, I actually love starting a new book. It’s by the middle that I start slowing down and getting ridiculously hard on myself to the point where I hit obstacle after obstacle. I’m glad you had the quiet time to get started on your new book, and especially without the added pressure. Hope to see you soon! 🙂


  6. Wonderful post, Jane. Thanks for answering some of my questions about you do it. And sometimes we really are our own worst enemies when it comes to meeting our goals. Giving yourself the permission to just simply write is reeeaallly hard. Not that anybody has to tell you that-:)

  7. Oh, Jane I so know all those feelings, especially the euphoria and relief of “I wrote today!” and especially when the deadline is still far off.

    And permission to write crap? I am so bad at this, sometimes I have to write at the top of every page, “Just write!” as a reminder.

    I actually do believe that the really worthwhile, wonderful things in life are never easy (e.g. having/raising kids, making a beautiful garden) and that includes writing, but gosh don’t we wish that it could be wortwhile, wonderful and a total piece of cake all at the same time!!!

    Keep writing. Glad I checked into your site and read your blog today.

    Love, Lilian

  8. So pleased that the writing is starting to flow again. I’ve been sympathising with your feelings of tiredness and burnout over the last few weeks.

    I’m taking it easy until the end of January (its summer here and the garden keeps beckoning), then its back into the writing for me as well.

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