How Not To Write A Novel: Yes, I’m Still Procrastinating

Hello all you lovely readers, how are we all doing today? Saturday has rolled around yet again and this week I’m actually able to get the my laptop and write this on the day I want to.  So let’s start, ‘if we were having coffee…’

Well, it’s been something of a quieter week this time around, and I’ve procrastinated more than I should have. YouTube seems to be the biggest obstacle between me and productivity and I’ve realised that I need to work out how to turn off the distractions and get out with cranking out chapters. To be honest, my motivation towards Dawn Shadows had been a little lax this week, and while I written out pages of notes and started editing chapter four, I haven’t got as deep as I wanted to into the re-write. Instead, most of my writing has been for this blog.

I did want to have the current redraft of Dawn Shadows out of the way by the end of October, but the only way I can see me achieving that is if I sit down and do a chapter a night four or five days of the week. I did have something of a break through with chapter four this morning and I’m now working on completing the second half of that chapter. If I can get that completed today, I can probably get most of chapter five written before going to bed and then start on chapter six in the morning. Part of the reason I’m actually getting this post out of the way now is so I can spend the rest of the day focusing switching off from the blog and focusing on novel writing.

Top Tip For Fighting Procrastination:

  • Instead of turning to the internet when you get stuck, take a walk or read a chapter from a book. Set yourself another task with distinct goals. This helps to give you a sense of accomplishment but also stops you for ending up going down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos that leave you wondering what happened to your life. It also gets you away from the screen and gives your brain a chance to reboot. Cabin fever is very real and sometimes we need to ground ourselves in order to crack those really difficult plot holes.

This week I also got involved with another one of the Daily Post’s Discovery Prompts. I run a little hot and cold with the Daily Post’s prompt, for example, the current daily prompt which is ‘Sandwich’. I could write a post for that but I would feel like I’m shoehorning the prompt into the story rather than building the story around the prompt.

Anyhow, this week I did get write a piece for the discovery prompt: Superhero, and I was really happy with how it turned out. Despite feeling really chuffed, it looks like it wasn’t a post that many people were interested to read. So far it has received thirty views in the three days that it’s been up.

Now normally this wouldn’t bother me as it is still better than having no one read it at all. However, it knocked me off balance because I’d misjudged the reaction this piece would receive. I scheduled the post to go up at 8am in the morning [GMT], and I’m wondering if this was a mistake. Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to post at least once a day, if not twice, but I don’t want to be putting up post after post within the same hour slot. It seems that after five years of blogging, I still haven’t cracked the code for working out when to post.

If you would like to read ‘Building Heros From Words and Dust‘ then just click the link and take a look. The comments it has received have been really positive so I don’t think the lack of traffic is due to the quality, but more the time I posted it and the content not relating directly to a writing prompt that’s driving traffic towards my site. For those of you who are interested, here’s a quick extract:

I was thirteen years old when I started writing Shadow Dawn and Tara was the sort of girl I wanted to be. She didn’t need anyone to look after her, she was clever, a good fighter, fierce and independent. She had all the confidence that thirteen year old me didn’t have. This is back when Gabriel was the main character of the story, it was still called Obscurite, and it never got past more than about 5,000 words.

Since then the title has changed, Gabriel has been lost, new characters have been added, the plotline has shifted dramatically and there have been more than a few revamp of character design. What has stayed the same is Tara and her awesomeness.

Building Heros From Words And Dust

That’s about all I have to share with you this week. For those looking for some writing prompts to spur on their creativity I’d like to share two fantastic sites that I’ve been using. The first is Promptuarium which is brimming with cool and interesting prompts to catch your imagination and updates every day with a whole host of new ones. The second is Dragonition who put up a fantastic new prompt every day. The range from scenes, to dialogue, to character descriptions.

If you’re ever stuck for ideas on a post, just hop over and see what they’ve got lurking around. You might have already seen some of my stories on here which stem from their prompts and no doubt, you will see many more to come.

As always, let me know how your weeks have been in the comments below, and until next time I wish you all the best. Happy reading!



  1. Do you think it’s a little writer’s block a tab bit of lack of inspiration? That used to happen to me. You’ll get the book done. You can’t rush a masterpiece.


  2. I started writing a novel when I was about 11. I wrote several chapters and outlined the whole book. I invested hours upon end. And then, I burned every page of it several years later. But the main character is still very real to me, and I think about her sometimes.


    1. If the main character is so important to you, you’ll get her story finished eventually. I had the same problems when I was writing my first book, but I was determined to get Sam’s story into words. Good luck with the writing; I love reading about your progress.


  3. Hi Carol,
    I really don’t know quite what to make of writing distractions and diversions. Some of them take me to a deeper understanding of human nature, character and plot development, some are social and others a waste of time. I personally don’t think being 100% focused is good for developing a rich creative work. That said, I need some focus at the the moment. I try to have something of an ebb and flow where I move from focus to big picture but often find these little goat trails very productive.
    I think reader is really import to develop your writing. I saw a fantastic example of that recently when I read Maya Angelou’s “I know why the Caged Bird Sings”. There was such depth to her writing.
    Anyway, there are a few thoughts and I share your pain and frustration of having good posts receive few readers.
    xx Rowena


  4. Hi Carol,

    My week wasn’t bad. I didn’t do a lot of writing in terms of stories. It’s been mostly journaling. But I’m trying to complete the stories I started. By that, I mean get them on my laptop and have readers have a look at them. I haven’t decided what to do with them. I haven’t found a contest to submit to, but I’m working on it. I worry that my submissions will be too slow and too juvenile. We’ll see.


  5. I actually write over a period of time for one piece. I just did a flash fiction piece and it came to be over three days. I’d write a little and then stop to do something else to make sure what I wrote rang true and to ponder where to take it from there. Sometimes I would spend several hours, reading and editing it, but the actual writing it always comes in more than one go at the computer.


  6. The ‘When to publish my blog post’ question is interesting; from here in Australia, I’ve worked out that 3.15am seems to get me the best traffic! Thank goodness for the “scheduling” feature : )


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