Posted by: jeannineatkins | February 8, 2016

Why I’m Writing Today

Every day, writers need fresh motivation. Every day, what gets us to pick up a pen, or move from checking the Web to facing a blank file, may look a little different. I’m pretty happy with the beginning and the end of my novel in progress. That’s a nudge, as I don’t want those chapters to go the way of other unseen files. I have to straighten out, or probably make wigglier, the middle, as a beginning and end can’t make a book. It’s not like making a nice appetizer and heading straight to dessert. Readers really need a middle.


I’ve looked forward to colored index cards and pencils, and today I got to use them. After a bit more fiddling on my computer. But I started racing to get my chapters out in time to enjoy the sun while I did some editing yoga. Then I had to keep working, rather than wreck my arrangements, so I could do actual yoga on that mat: more than doing child pose while scribbling notes in margins. But as long as I’m down on my knees, I see a few flaws to chop or dust. Is that the edge of a theme peeking out? I pull the thread. Great. Except that this means cutting and rearranging more scenes to make a place for an expanded theme.

Then I offered myself a nap. And came up with three sentences while waiting for some short sleep. Then another cup of tea and back to work. One sentence led to another. A paragraph got tidier. A scene found a new place. I think the plot is missing. But I’ll keep an eye out for it while shoving trailing ideas into place, arranging sentences one by one, page by page, tomorrow. And plot hunting can happen while reading, daydreaming, or even dreaming. Oh, tomorrow. When the sun will stay out just a bit longer, a pleasure I’ll try to bring into the work.





  1. Thank you for the example of your diligence and your accepted struggles.

    • You know these things, too, of course, and sharing all this with you makes everything better.

  2. Love this peek into your writing life, Jeannine – plot hunting and shifting can happen in the most unlikely places and at the most unlikely times…you, however, are ready!

    • Thanks, Tara. Those ever slippery plots are hard to catch, but perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned over the years is that patience and keeping an eye out can bring results. So much just takes time!

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