Now I have to write this thing

Workshop is over! Hooray!

neil and elmo dancing

I so enjoyed it. Aside from the people who have poor workshop etiquette, I learned so much from my classmates, got some great feedback to chew on, and received some encouragement (always helpful to this insecure writer). In even better news, my workshop instructor told me that I’m ready for the more advanced workshop in the fall! In other words, time to play with the big kids.

That starts in August. Like August 19th. I have to have my novel reworked and completed by then.



When I got home (after stopping at the Tattered Cover to treat myself, of course), I sat in my kitchen so overwhelmed that I could barely eat my lunch.

I’m sure some of you are like, ‘Emily, that is two months away and that’s plenty of time. Calm yourself.’

That is very true, time is on my side. But I see that date on the calendar and I’m like ‘I have a wedding and bachelorette parties and vacation and a job and maybe even another job and I’m trying to have a social life so I don’t become a shut-in like Emily Dickinson and do you know how long it takes to write a novel?!

So it will be a bit of a crunch to finish with something that I think is workshoppable (is that a word? Well, it is now), but it can be done. I just had to devise a plan. So I went to my desk, pulled out my markers and fun-colored sharpies, turned on Spotify, and wrote myself a goals sheet and then a weekly task sheet*. This is a little excessive, but I am a born planner. Having a plan calms me down because it enables me to see where I’m going. I can see the big things I have to do as well as all the little things that will help me get there.

I know where I’m going. I have direction. It will all be okay.

There are four BIG GOALS I wrote on my sheet. The first is to write up to the inciting incident**. I then broke out my weekly task sheet and wrote down the scenes I will write each day to get me there. Then I added some other fun things like ‘if you have time, do this’ and ‘when done, reward self with cookie.’

Once I finish that, it’s on to the next one (I get a lot of life advice from Jay-Z). And I just keep going. As the Roommate said the other night, “I don’t know much about writing, but I do know you have to keep going.” Wise words, Roommate. Wise words.

And, hopefully, disasters notwithstanding, I will finish and be ready to workshop and I’ll tackle the next phase…


I like my encouragement in gif form, too.

On that note, I’ll wrap this up. I have some serious writing to do! Have a great week everyone. I’m out.

*Markers and sharpies make everything more fun. Old teacher habits die hard.
**The inciting incident is the part of the novel that puts everything into motion for the rest of the story. Say the characters are driving down a road and then a skunk crosses their path and from there on out their road trip is forever affected by the skunk. The skunk’s appearance is in the inciting incident because it changes the characters would be trajectories into the rest of your novel. This is a verbose definition, I know.


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