Back on Track (plus: do you know this book?)

It’s been a while since I last posted about my writing – and that’s because I hadn’t been doing any writing!

After a good start to the summer (I handwrote my way through a Moleskine notebook) I developed major resistance to writing. And while I kept thinking about my writing, I just couldn’t seem to sit down and actually do any writing.

Luckily, I have the best writing buddy in the world. Janel Gradowski kept the magic of writing alive for me through her daily emails to me. She’d write about her progress in her latest WIP and talk about plotting, outlining, POV, making characters come alive – stuff that made the writer in me itch to get to the keyboard. She’d write about organizing things with post-its and index cards (I love organizing with post-its and index cards). She’d send me links to great writing books and posts and interviews.

She never made me feel guilty, though. It was more like she’d hold open the doorway to the writing life, and just gently made sure I knew it was still there, waiting for me.

All of her support helped to eat away at my resistance. Last week, the last remaining bits of resistance suddenly lifted. I found myself embracing two words that I’m not really that fond of: Discipline and Commitment. (“Not really that fond of” is putting it mildly.)

I decided to make my writing a priority. I committed to sitting down to write first thing in the morning, right after my meditation but before I did anything else. I decided I had the discipline to keep that commitment.

Now, I’ve done this before – say to myself, my writing is a priority. And “I’m going to just do it”. And it always kind of fizzled out. But the strange thing is, when you add a dash of Discipline and a spoonful of Commitment into things, things don’t fizzle out.

I’ve been writing a chapter a day (I’m doing a rewrite of my old WIP, WAVERLEY). I have absolutely no resistance to sitting down to the keyboard.

I’m not making excuses, procrastinating, picking up a good book instead, cleaning the dishes, taking a nap, working on the next index, surfing the net – I sit down and I write. I try to write for at least an hour. Mainly I write until I’ve finished the chapter, which might or might not take an hour.

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo this year; it depends on whether I get Waverley finished before November 1. But it’s okay, because I’m back on track!


In reading news: I just finished Midnight Riot, by Ben Aaronovitch. It’s a very fun urban fantasy about Constable Peter Grant of London’s Metropolitan Police, who interviews a witness to a murder, only to discover the witness is a ghost. Very tongue-in-cheek, with fun sci-fi and fantasy pop culture references.

Which reminds me of another book I read recently. I’ve been trying to remember the name of it (I forgot to mark it down in any of my usual TBR-recording spaces). It’s a newer release, and it’s about a woman who wakes up in this woman’s body, and all she knows is someone’s trying to kill her. The theme is a little like Midnight Riot, as it’s about a ministry or department in England where people with magical powers police the magical things that are happening.

The woman discovers that the woman whose body she has now, was a doormat, but it turns out her powers are very powerful. There’s a “Court” that the woman turns out to be a part of (and a conspiracy within the court). There’s a being who inhabits a number of bodies all at the same time, and another being who turns out to be a vampire. It was quite an exciting book. I’m hoping the name of it will come to me (if you know what book I’m talking about, please let me know in the comments!) as I’m hoping there’ll be a sequel and if there is, I want to read it!

Update: I was just looking through the latest issue of Shelf Awareness, and I discovered the name of the book! It’s The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for a sequel.

9 thoughts on “Back on Track (plus: do you know this book?)

    1. Belle Wong Post author

      This was definitely set in England. The MC’s name started with an M, I think – and that might have been the title of the book. This is going to drive me nuts until I remember/find out the name of the book!

  1. Janel Gradowski

    I am so glad you are back on track with your writing! You are a my best writing buddy. Telling you what I am doing has kept me focused and I am so lucky that you and I found each other. Now if only we could see each other in person sometime. :)

  2. Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll)

    I’m off track with my writing at the moment. I’m going to use NaNo to pull me back on — even though it’s not a novel and I’ll be doing a lot of research work along with the writing. I probably won’t officially do NaNo, but I’m going to aim to get a file with 50,000 words in it.

  3. Care

    Congrats on the Commitment and Discipline thing. I have a lack in that department but it also helps to have Passion first so you know what to apply that Commitment and Discipline to. :)

    I don’t know the book but I’m dying to know so I will check back. Perhaps Twitter can help? Do you remember where you got the book? library?

  4. Susan

    Midnight Riot was a fun read! I read it sometime in the past year. I have to pick up the second one in the series soon. There’s a third out now, and it’s getting good reviews too. I’m glad you enjoyed it too.

    I’m going to be thinking about that book you have written about, it sounds so familiar! and no, no title is coming to me.

    As for writing – oh, I’ve been having a huge problem getting back into the rhythm I had last spring. I was working on a short story then, and suddenly I just – stopped. I’ve started thinking about the story and the characters again, which is a good sign. I am writing poetry all through this, so this is good. I do miss writing my stories every day, sitting down with my characters. You sound like you have an excellent writing friend! I’m happy for you too that you are writing again, that is always good news to hear. Commitment and discipline – they should be framed for all of us! :-)


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