No. 120

Writing a Novel

Over a year ago, I sat in the pub of a small in on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, outlining a novel. The ideas had been swirling around in my head for a few months, and there it all began to come together: the reluctant heroine, the unexpected hero, a villain for the reader to empathize with, a story in the future and in the past and in the present of our hearts.

I mentioned it here and there — I was so excited about it that I just couldn’t contain my enthusiasm. People ask me about it now and then. They want to know how it’s coming along, how many chapters I have written, what my progress has been. I’m almost embarrassed when I tell them that there is no progress, that the novel is on hold. It’s still a piece of me, and I will breathe life into someday, but that time hasn’t come yet.

My inner critic calls me lazy, points out my unfinished endeavors: a novel, an adventure, a magazine, a masters thesis.

We fight, this inner critic and I.

I may be not writing that novel, but I am writing something much more exquisite and complicated: my life.

There are twists and turns and unexpected surprises. I’m living in uncertainty and adventure and beauty. There are highs and lows, and just when I think I know the next step and can control the ending, I discover there’s another path for me.

In the last year, I’ve started my own business, delved deeply into archery, fallen in love, moved to a new city, struggled, soared.

That chapter was titled “Following Your Heart.”

Now I’m plumb in the middle of one titled “Doing What Feels Right and Finding Balance.” And let me tell you, this one has been a real doozy.

What would you title the chapter you’re living right now?

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

4 thoughts on “Writing a Novel

  1. Finding balance is one of those aspects of life that I’m quite terrible at and I’m pretty much certain that it’s not one of those things that are meant for me. Which is okay, I enjoy living at those peaks and valleys and spending less and less time in the middle ground. The novel will make its way out when you’ve decided that the time is right

  2. This is such a great metaphor, which are totally not my forte. You know I can relate to wanting to finish a novel and having to tell people, “No, it’s not done yet.” You’ll find that chapter, though, when all you want to do is write it. I finally found mine and it’s actually getting written :)

  3. I just realized how much I missed your writing! I was on a blogging hiatus for the past 6-8 months and am finally finding my way back.

    If I could title my chapter right now, it’d be called “Clearing the Water,” because I feel like I’m finally clearing my head and finding the important things in my life at the moment.

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.