I’ve been writing for quite some time. I’ve finished 44 novels and have already started #45. My process changes sometimes, depending on the novel. I’m okay with that, have enough experience to be able to flow with it.

In addition, I’m pretty good at not listening to those outside voices when it comes to my writing and my process. Okay, so I’m actually good at telling other people to fuck right off. What works for me, works for me. May or may not work for you. Don’t try to tell me that your way is the ONLY way to write something.

Seriously. The only rule as far as I’m concerned is that you have to actually write. Or as my husband says, sit down, shut up, and write.

I was able to make a little more progress on the current novel this week, but then I got stuck again. I’d said before that I was going to have to plot out more than just the main character. I’ve also kind of plotted out the entire series, all four books, knowing the major plot points.

So I took myself to a coffee shop, sat in front of their really nice warm (fake) fireplace, and brainstormed on the novel. Found that I was missing a few characters, an entire additional subplot.

Eventually I opened up Excel and wrote out one sentence per chapter for all thirty six chapters.

When I finished, though I didn’t have a lot of time, I banged out 1000 words rather quickly. See, I finally knew where I was going and what I was doing. It’s kind of awesome.

On the drive home, I found myself doubting myself. I didn’t really need such an extensive outline – surely not all 263 words of it! I was a fraud as a writer. A fake. “Real” writers didn’t outline. All outlines were created by critical voice. They weren’t creative or necessary. Etc.


I find myself justifying my use of an outline, such as it were. There are 17 POV characters in this first novel (maybe more). Beside the main plot there are numerous subplots.

You know what? Fuck that. I could use an outline if it was a single POV moving through a story (and I have). It’s okay for me to use whatever the hell process a particular story needs.

As long as I don’t devolve into just working the process and never writing, it doesn’t matter.

So fuck all those external voices telling you that you MUST follow this process or that in order to write your novel. Feel more comfortable plotting out all the emotional beats? Go for it. Feeling like jumping off a cliff and letting the wings form as you glide into the darkness? That’s okay too.

Just write. Tell your story. Write your heart out each and every day. Leave it all there bleeding on the page.

Don’t let someone else stop you. Particularly not those damned voices that are just your own critical voice trying to protect you from showing too much.