Steps to Beginning Your Next Novel

  1. Over several months, jot down every awesome idea about new novel that clogs your brain while you’re trying to finish other projects (including previous novel – fuck you, brain)
  2. Extended bout of self-doubt that your finished novel will never find an agent or publisher
  3. Open brand new file for outline, tentatively labeled, “New SO Novel Outline” (because you’re creative and such)
  4. Spend unknown amount of time with nothing outlined except who you’ve followed on Twitter and what your to-do list for tomorrow should be
  5. Finish up work on upcoming events and projects that you forgot about/lost track of time on/tried to ignore (wait, that festival is in a week?!)
  6. Two days recovering from minor surgery (that might actually be legit)
  7. Three days surviving sudden switch from mild spring to heavy summer (fuck you, Ottawa – I blame you and only you)
  8. Spend weekend accomplishing various tasks, then descend on coffee shop with another writer and put fingers to your keyboard, not stopping for two hours straight, no matter how much you want to
  9. Go home and write blog post, instead of continuing to outline

Prevailing wisdom from this: write in the company of other writers

Prevailing wisdom I will ignore: sometimes I avoid starting huge projects the way Sarah Palin avoids any knowledge gained beyond kindergarten.

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