If you like to read and love books, there is a great chance that you have a secret or not-so-secret dream to write a book.
I never thought of myself as a writer when I was a young adult devouring books but in my early twenties, it became apparent to me that it was possible to compose an entire story myself and if I devoted myself to a regular writing practice the dream would someday be within reach.
The daily writing routine is part of making the dream true. Another part is to set goals. I like goal setting and I like to map out a plan. It makes me connect to my dream but sometimes when the plan is in action and I look at the word count and workflow the daily grind can become a little stifled. Often I want to redo the plan or create an entirely new one. That is when I know it is time for me to reconnect with the book dream in another way so I actually will do some writing.
Steps towards the dream
- A daily/writing/monthly writing routine
- Map it out
- Connect to the dream
The Dream of a New Novel
The last part is especially relevant to the beginning of a new writing project. I need to capitalize on that hopeful feeling for later in the writing process when my stamina is needed. I don’t have a lot of time set aside for my new idea so it doesn’t make sense for me yet to map it all out. What does makes sense to me is to keep my enthusiasm for this project alive. So I am connecting with this book dream in broader ways.
I make room for this book in all kinds of small ways. I set it up in Scrivener, I jot down ideas in my daily journal, I share about it here on the blog, I repeat the working title in my notebook and planner, I keep a journal dedicated to this writing journey, but most important I keep it playful. I feel an inner smile when thinking about this new project. I keep it to myself for now (except here) I don’t force anything yet. I invite in new inner images of central scenes. And then on random days, I set the timer for 15 minutes and free-write.
My dream for the writing process
For this story I imagine the writing process to feel like investigative journalism. I love research and binders and folders and I dream of a whiteboard where I can connect the dots. My last project was a speculative fiction story and even though I could draw a lot of inspiration from all sorts of fields I was free to alter it in all kinds of ways and I did. This time I want to learn some new specific things or themes that I can infuse into the writing. For now, I know that one of the things is going to be a detail from astrology.
Future assignment | use this for any item/theme of research
- For the next ten days, I will be on the lookout for anything that has to do with the stars and the moon (or fill in the x).
- I will put it in a virtual folder or an actual one
- and for each item or fact, I gather I will write a paragraph that can become a part of the first draft
- I will then have to align the findings (in this case astrology fitting the time and date) for the setting and telling of the story.
My dream for the draft and final novel
This writing project means that I want to explore and learn about a new genre. When I was a young adult I read a lot of Agatha Christie but since then I haven’t read a lot of crime fiction or murder mysteries but I love to watch British crime television series and Scandinavian noir. I wish for this book to be a captivating murder mystery with fleshed-out characters that drive the story into the dark and hopefully out again.
When I am not writing or jotting down things on the whiteboard as an investigator myself I Imagine where the future published book will be featured, wherein the bookstore it will be located, how the book cover looks, the font on the pages, a possible dedication, and one over the top testimonial and when it is time to return to the actual writing I play around with the last sentence or paragraph of the story.
I connect to the dream in my head, on the page, and by filling my surroundings with clues that point me in the direction of the story.
What is one tangible thing on your desk that reminds you of the dream of writing a book?
I would love to know in the comments or perhaps you would like to share it on Instagram #writingdates @writingdates
Additional action | If you don’t yet have a token that connects to your writing project be on the lookout for one that brings you that inner smile.