Writerly Wednesdays

Diary of a Novelist

Day 1: Fingertips brush against the keys and heart throbs as every thought shivers through the future. Imaginings thunder as the story beckons the muses of old. Chocolate never tasted so good.

Day 2: Someone hacked the computer and turned poetry into gibberish. A toddler, indeed, yes. Tomorrow, perhaps it can be salvaged.

Day 3: Salvaged, but after a second glance, the toddler’s ideas weren’t so bad. Maybe it’ll be published someday.

Day 7: Three thousand words! Done? Blah. Books are around 75,000 words. I’ve consumed the first pound of chocolate. Semisweet, Semiconscious.

Day 18: Took the day off writing and feel like *********. Won’t take a day off again. What a total waste of a day.

Day 49: Decided to start writing again after taking a month off. Felt good to write.

Day 50: Yay, writing! Publishable.

Day 51: Boo, writing! Trash.

Day 52: Meh. Kept going. Is that blood on my keyb…no, melted chocolate.

Day 72: Enjoyable pastime, maybe? Scanned through today and saw lots of words, but are they good?

Day 99: They tried to draw blood, and they filled the vial with fragmented metaphors. Haven’t written yet today.

Day 162: Drama. Inside the little grey cells. Writers die alone. Indoors. No tan—discovered by their critique group after the missed meetings. I wouldn’t trade a critique group for chocolate…well, one can do without critique groups if needed. But both chocolate and friends and writing…ah, the life of creation.

Day 210: Started the second draft. Not sure who wrote the first, but they ate all the chocolate in the house. They should be found and forced to stop writing.

Day 222: Friends who don’t write, all want to write books now. Get your own hobby.

Day 271: There’s only creation or death, and the lines between the two blur. The grind isn’t a career choice. There’s no discipline. Just finish lines to the finishlines.

Day 312: Not many can say they’ve wrecked a novel. This one’s been wrecked, oh cherished possession. I’m chained to the manuscript. Tightly. Both of us to the flagpole. Out front. In case Debbie Macomber walks by. And sees it. And reads it. And likes it. And likes me.

Day 366: Determined to do better. Scrap #1 and write story #2. Chocolate, don’t fail now.

Day 411: Agent liked the first story. Fine. They can keep it. Wait till they see what’s brewing next.

Day 598: Official payment for the first book. Combined with a work paycheck, I will take my critique group of three for coffee.

Day 746: Realization—have written over two years now. Can see how my dedication has changed others. They are more dedicated to their dreams. Because of me.

Day 842: Gave talk about writing. Went okay. Where did all this knowledge that spouted from these lips come from?

Day 999: Writer Don DeLillo was right. There was no trick of writing. No mastery of self or words. No one’s born a novelist. No. There’s just writing. And growing older. And then, one day, I’m a novelist.

I have grown into novelhood.

Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.


  • Peter Leavell

    Peter Leavell, a graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and a MA in English Literature, was the 2011 winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest and 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best award for First-Time Author, along with multiple other awards. An author, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband, and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter’s books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com

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