“The difference between a novelist and someone who tinkers around with writing is this: novelists finish their books.” Nancy Etchemendy

Confession: I am a tinkerer. Not something I am really happy to admit, but the first step of growth is to become aware of our own bullshit.

When I made the decision to put everything into restarting this journey of making my love of writing the priority it so very much deserves to be, I decided to start by printing out all my old work – some of the drafts dating back 20 years. I have two draft manuscripts completed but never edited and numerous others which I have started but never done the justice of completing. Next confession… I have not written, as in actually sat down and written 500 – 1000 words a day for about 5 years. The reason why is a story for another day.

The last few weeks I have spent auditing these unfinished works. Making notes, endless notes, on what has the budding potential for completion and what could be used towards new works which I have planned. The next step is to make my way through the two completed draft manuscripts – the question is – how to decide if they should be pursued to completion or if they should be once again shelved until the day comes that my full interest in them is renewed?

I ask the question, but I think I already know the answer. My notebook is overflowing with potential projects and I am bursting with inspiration like I haven’t been for years. It is time for a change – a change from tinkerer to novelist. My goals are set. My passion rekindled. And although my inner procrastinator is pleading with me, exhausting the old “where will I find the time” excuses, I will not be overcome. Not this time.

“A goal should scare you a little, and excite you A LOT.” – Joe Vitale


6 thoughts on “Novelist vs Tinkerer

  1. It must have been a mammoth task going back over your old writing. Was there anything that surprised you that you had forgotten you wrote? I think this sounds like a good idea I might try it myself..


    1. Hi. Thanks for reading. It was definitely a huge task. I started off enjoying it – the excitement of getting back into the whole writing process. I found pages apon pages of writing saved as untitled documents – brainstormed scenes that didn’t fit in anywhere. I catalogued it all. Making notes of what potential there is and what could be used on new story ideas But then by the time I reached my two completed draft manuscripts I made a decision – time to focus on the here and now and put the past aside for awhile.


  2. Procrastination is the thing that will kill you. You have to write every day. The fall issue of new Zenith magazine touches on this pretty well. Try giving it a read it’s only four dollars and there’s some very good articles and information in there about writing every day.

    Liked by 1 person

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