Anita Mechler: 10 top thoughts I had while trying to write my first novel chapter

At the advent of my 35th year on the planet, I decided that I was going to attempt to write a first draft of a novel that I’ve been kicking around my head for about five months. To aid in the process, I enrolled in a novel writing class as a birthday present. My first chapter is due in a few days and I sequestered myself for the weekend in my apartment with my cat to get it done. Here are some of the thoughts I’ve had during this process (all times are approximate):

  • Friday night, 7:13p.m.: “I’m so excited to get started and read some research and make notes and write a really great first chapter.”
  • 8:15p.m.: “I’m getting hungry and trying to save money, so I’ll eat this year-old can of chili that’s in the back of my cabinet.”
  • 8:32p.m.: “Maybe I’ll play some computer games for a little bit to stimulate my mind.”
  • 10:12p.m.: “This has been a long week, maybe I should go to bed early and get a fresh start tomorrow.”
  • Saturday morning, 10:01a.m.: “Oh man. My apartment hasn’t been cleaned in weeks, there’s laundry everywhere and dirty dishes in the sink. I’ll clean up everything so that I have no excuses not to write.”
  • 1:13p.m.: “I’m really tired now, so I think that I’ll take a nap with my cat.”
  • 3:33p.m.: “I’ll do some more research to try to answer some of the the questions my classmates gave me on feedback from last week’s assignment.”
  • 9:14p.m.: “I’ll work on the writing tomorrow now that all of my chores and most of my research is done.”
  • Sunday morning, 11:12a.m.: “What have I done? Why did I think that I could write a novel? I’m not a writer, I’m a reader and researcher and barely even at that. Now, I’m hungry and I’m running low on food and it looks gross outside.”
  • 1:01p.m.: “I’ll walk to a restaurant to take a break from my apartment and read a little bit.”

Now that I’ve shared this with you, I really will start on that chapter. Maybe. After this nap*.

[*I didn’t take that nap and instead started on that chapter for the next 4 hours, and completed about 7 pages of it. Writing this list and everything that I do leading up to it helped, I think. So, thanks for reading!]

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