The Struggles of Novel Writing

As a 25-year-old late Millennial diagnosed by Tik-Tok with ADHD, sitting down and writing out my first novel has not been the most fruitful of my efforts. I know, it sounds crazy, right? I love to write. I sit and dream of the romantic scenes playing out in my head and I can feel the inspiration surging through me. But the second I sit down to type something out? I lose it. I’m aware of the student debt that I like to pretend doesn’t exist and the embarrassing anecdote I shared at work the other day even though my brain screamed at me to stop, but the story that was just a second ago streaming across my brain like a new 4K movie in an IMAX theater (that’s a thing, right?) is now lost forever. The words that I type lose all meaning and become mere rambles.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m anywhere near an expert on anything, except maybe the Art of Procrastination. I won’t throw out advice that I haven’t found to work in my own life, and even the advice that I do provide will come with the caveat that NOT EVERYTHING WORKS FOR EVERYONE. But the one thing I’ve learned holds true for just about anyone trying to write?

You have to write.

Get that shitty first draft out on paper. Vomit the emotions and the thoughts, spill the scents and sights all over the page. Let the gnawing feelings of inspiration come out, not caring how much of a mess it is when it’s first released. Write something that has no part in the final product because maybe you will learn something about your characters that you might not have otherwise known. There’s magic in the shitty mess we start with.

So here I am, reviving a blog that started years ago and has been dangling by a thread for longer than I’ve had that one jar of pickles stuffed to the back of the fridge. I thought about changing the name. I thought about creating a whole new site altogether. But the name Between the Days really seems to apply to my habits as a writer. Most of my day is either at work, driving to work, or working on my Master’s degree. I don’t have enough time during the day to crank out a romance novel, especially with my trademarked Procrastination™ techniques. But I find the time to write because I have to write. It’s who I am. I find time to write the words that are threatening to drive me mad, and the only time I have is Between the Days.

Come along with me. I can’t promise that this journey will be life changing or inspiring. But I would certainly love the company.

Yours,

Thomas

When I Write

When I’m overwhelmed, overstimulated, and over it, I write. Not necessarily anything of substance, not necessarily anything that will ever be posted. But I write. Sometimes it’s as simple as the Greek alphabet (so I don’t forget that always useful lifeskill), sometimes it’s a random French phrase that finds its home in my head and randomly comes up for air.
I’m not often surprised by what I write. After all, this is my brain it’s coming out of. But sometimes, I notice the words that are traced in half-assed cursive. Sometimes, I notice certain trends that to a third grade literary critic would raise some red flags. Phrases like “j’ai terminé” and “je veux mourir” sometimes spill out. I didn’t intend it. I don’t seek to scare anyone that dares to read my scribbles over my shoulder. I tell myself it’s because they’re easy to write in cursive and I love the way that the J goes so beautifully into the AI to form “j’ai” in what could, with the biggest imagination, be considered calligraphy. Sometimes I tell myself it’s because they’re some of the few French phrases that I still remember. But the patterns are undeniable and the words tattoo themselves onto my forearms and forehead and foresight because I know what’s coming.
So I silently close the notebook, resume my regularly scheduled procrastination, and shove the phrases right back into their home in my head.
Not today.