Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

[Wyrd Words Weekly] Writing a book doesn't happen by accident!

published5 months ago
2 min read

Hello Reader,

I was supposed to spend my weekend in writerly bliss at a retreat out on the scenic Olympic Peninsula with my pals. Then I woke up last week with the sore throat and cough that had been plaguing my kids. Whomp, whomp!

Each moment of uninterupted writing time feels sacred in a world where there are so many demands on our time. And any interruption of that writing time feels like a huge injustice.

So I'm not going to lie--I spent a little bit of time moping over my decision not to go, feeling sorry for myself, anticipating a whole lot of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), and wondering how I was ever going to finish this never-ending revision if I couldn't just put everything else on hold and write, write, write.

Once I'd felt all those very valid feelings of disappointment, I sat down at my desk and I spent the day writing. Writing at home isn't nearly as exciting as writing in the woods with friends, but it was probably drier and warmer given what it was going outside here in the Pacific Northwest. And I can't deny that I get a real infusion of creative energy when I write with other folks that my cats and my baby Yoda just can't replicate here in my office. But guess what? I still finished my revision.

This weekend's misadventures helped me remember one of my favorite sayings: Writing a book doesn't happen by accident. It happens by showing up, even when things aren't going your way. Even when a cold foils your fun writing retreat. Even when you get a rejection. Even when you're not sure what comes next. Even when the doubt demons are whispering "you can't do this" in your ear (especially then).

We sit down.
We write.
We repeat until we type THE END.
Then we sit down.
We revise.
We repeat until we hit send.

I can't tell you how excited I was to sit down for my writing session this morning and OPEN UP A BRAND-NEW SCRIVENER FILE for the first time in two years. I definitely missed out on a lot of fun this weekend, but I didn't let it keep me from the work.

If you're feeling a little low on your writing journey, if interruptions and distractions are keeping you from the work, maybe writing with a friend would help.

In celebration of #NaNoWriMo, I'll be hosting a weekly write-in and a bonus "Ask Me Anything" Q&A via Zoom next month. We'll start with a brief centering exercise and a writing prompt, but then the rest of the time will be silent drafting!

I love the energy that writing in community produces, so I hope you'll join me on Zoom. Here are the details:

  • Tuesday, November 1, 3:00pm - 4:00pm Pacific via Zoom
  • Friday, November 11, 8:00am - 9:00am Pacific via Zoom
  • Q&A! Monday, November 14, 12:00pm - 1:00pm Pacific via Zoom
  • Friday, November 25, 8:00am - 9:00am Pacific via Zoom
  • Wednesday, November 30, 2:00pm - 3:00pm Pacific via Zoom

BONUS: A Kick-Ass Character Tool

My friend and fellow book coach Dani Abernathy has a kick-ass character tool that I thought you might find useful as well. Check it out:

The key to impactful fiction is a powerful protagonist. What makes a powerful protagonist? A powerful character arc. The Enneagram personality system is a great tool for building a powerful character arc, because it not only tells you how each type behaves in the world but why they behave that way. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can write a protagonist with a kickass character arc, one that will:

  • Stick with your reader
  • Make them feel seen
  • Help them understand someone else’s perspective
  • Give them hope

Through two simple steps, the Kickass Protagonist Builder will help you use the Enneagram to create a protagonist who is truly unforgettable.

Hope to see you there!



PS - My world-building webinar is this weekend. If you've been. meaning to sign up, time is running out. And if you can't attend live, don't worry--I'm making the recording available to registrants for a month after the event. Sign up now with your $10 discount.