When nothing feels right, do something else altogether!

Pip Lincolne

I haven’t been blogging much in the last week, right? I’ve had lots on my mind, to be honest, and I haven’t really FELT like blogging. For one, I haven’t paid my (not-inconsequential) site hosting bill yet, so I was too scared to pop over and see if the blog was still up this month! Also, I’m just a bit out of sorts, I guess…

I’ve been working on a few different crafty projects – and finishing none of them.

I’ve been working on a couple of non-fiction books (one about breaking up and one about homebodies) – but not making any progress, really… (I think I’m used to working with a publisher and I don’t have a publisher anymore, so my usual book-writing life feels a bit hypothetical…)

And I’ve been trying to work out what my next step is – to earn a bit more money – but not really making any headway due to lacklustre feels.

Nothing has really been feeling right, possibly because life is not feeling right, if that makes sense.

Anyway, what happened next was I saw that writer Allison Tait was running a project in August, encouraging people to write a book. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you might know that I always talk about wanting to write fiction, but I had never properly started. Or even truly thought I could.

I’ve researched different methods of pulling a book together. I’ve bought lots of books that promise to make novel-writing dreams come true. I’ve even mapped various plot lines, events and historical details that relate to my book-to-be. But I’d never started that book.

I guess I was used to writing things that were TRUE – craft books, nicer life guides… I wasn’t sure if I knew how to make stuff up. Also, after reading several confusingly structured, chop-and-change character/year type books, I figured I just didn’t have the legit smarts to write a novel.

Anyhoo, long story short, I thought ‘when nothing feels right, do something different’. I mean, what have I got to lose? I might find out I can’t even write a gosh-darned made-up book. That’s okay. Or I might end up with a book. Granted that book may never see the light of day, but it’s the not trying that’s the miss, rather than the not publishing, I think.

On the 1st of August, I started writing, as soon as I’d finished work. I’m going to write 1000 words a day through August and see where that leads me. At the moment, my word count looks like this:

Day One: 906
Day Two: 1068 (1974)
Day Three: 1031 (3005)

Because life is a bit hard at the moment, I’m finding it helpful to disappear into another world and life. I didn’t realise how great that would feel. It’s also pretty ace to create people in the form you choose, rather than dealing with real people who you can’t write the way you want! So there’s that.

I just wanted to check in and tell you about this, really, in case that seemed interesting and prompted you to think about similar things you might like to try. I’m feeling excited by it, and optimistic… Which is a pretty good way to feel when other challenging things have chiefly been the focus for the last 9 months (longer, really!)

My friend told me he wrote his novel in pencil and then edited it by typing it up on his computer. I love that idea, and it makes perfect sense.

For me, though, it’s not going to work… when life is stressful, my writing becomes ridiculously messy! It’s like someone else is holding my hand and making me pen wriggly scrawl. I feel like I wouldn’t even be able to read what I’d written, if I tried this sensible pencil-then-edit approach! Also, I think of all those movies where the manuscript blows away into a lake… or gets covered in a spilled cup of coffee. Ugh. That would be me!

Granted writing a book where I get to escape my actual life probably isn’t the most practical thing to be doing… but it’s just an hour a day, right? I can attack all those other unresolved issues as well as doing this. I’m not being totally irresponsible. It’s a kind of therapeutic self-care, if you will.

So that’s it. The story so far, pretty much.

I hope your day is going along peach-ily! Thank you for reading my blog!

x pip



  1. NaNoWriMo. Have you heard of them? November is National Novel Writing Month and they are also an organization that encourages people, especially kids, to write a novel in a month. Their website is geared toward November, but there is still a ton of information in the forums that can help with all kinds of writerly things.

    BTW–I’m surprised I didn’t see you in Funk-Land – I’ve been there a lot lately too!

  2. When I was grwing up in Perth, I used to go back with my cousin to her house after tennis lessons on a Friday afternoon for cordial and biscuits. The biscuits were kept in a pretty tin which had the following verse printed on it:
    “Kindness in another’s troubles,
    Courage in your own”
    That’s you, Pip.

  3. This sounds like a great idea. I’m going through a tough time too (divorce), so I appreciate the inspiration. Good luck with your writing.

  4. That sounds like a great thing to be doing. I tried dabbling in fiction and wrote a kids picture book but I struggle with fiction writing. I love the thought of it but I don’t think I’ve got the knack. Maybe I should have another go? I hope you share some snippets with us. That would be really cool? xx

  5. No, you’re not being irresponsible. Goooooooooood self care. Writing a novel is its own odd kind of therapeutic alchemy and helps digest things even if what you are writing is a complete change in mental gears. Well done being gentle and gently persistent. You might like National Novel Writing Month in November as well, there is a huge and wonderful online community around the world for support. Hugs, and many good pots of tea to you – thankyou for sharing Alison’s project and your joining-in! xx

  6. Hi Pip, I think there are many of us around suffering the same ‘funk’ in life right now. It was great to read your blog and see that I am not alone.
    Being a creative is supposed to be a gift but it’s so hard kicking your own bum when you are down ( and the catch -22 ensues). One day at a time, is all I know.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. In the midst of all the yuck that you are dealing with/going through, taking an hour a day to write sounds like a brilliant idea to me. This project is yours, and you can have it be like a little raft in this stormy sea time you are going through(obviously I’m not a writer!). I’m sorry you are having to deal with all the stuff at the movement and this has left you feeling lack lustre. Thanks for keeping your blog, thanks for teaching so many of us how to blog, or craft or live more creative lives, and thanks for giving us lovely communities and friends. Even lack lustre, you are still super sparkly! Emily xxx

  8. I think that writing is a great way to take yourself out of your head, and away from the stresses of reality. Even if it is never finished, or not published, you can use it to reflect on how it helped get you through a tough time.
    It sucks that you are having unhappy times. I’d like to reach through the screen and give you a hug and say that it’s all going to be okay. Take as long as you need. Most of us will have unhappy times- some more than others. If you can find something that works for you, go for it and apologise to no one.

  9. Good luck with the writing. Take care of yourself in this transition time in your life.

  10. Writing is all process, right? And process is often therapy. Maybe you do not have a publisher right now because the old one does not fit your new genre/headspace?? But what great solace having this creative writing space to retreat into when life is a bit shabby. Thankyou for your honesty and your creative soul. I hope that some sparkle comes your way really soon.

  11. Fantastic, Pip. Have lots of fun and enjoy the fictional world you’re creating. Fiction is a cure for everything, i reckon!

  12. Sorry that things have been feeling hard lately. I hope that writing a book might make you feel better! I finished my first draft of a book a couple of months ago. That took two years, in between looking after two pre-schoolers and then deciding to go back to uni to study writing in the middle of it, and really because of it. So it’s still slow going. The first thing that i did when I started editing was basically wipe out the first three chapters. Seems like I had to write those to get a feel for how to write a book, but then I didn’t need them anymore. Moe to the point, the story didn’t need them anymore. Anyway, I am a serial comments waffler, I really just wanted to say that there is something transformative in immersing yourself in a story of your own making, and something so magical about the way that as a writer, sometimes the things that transpire in your book come as a total surprise to you.
    Good luck! xx

  13. Writing. And tea. And cake. They help.

  14. Ah, life ‘funks’. They’re shit, right? Messy personal stuff is just, well, messy. Ya just got to live it, one day at a time, sometimes an hour or 10min block at a time. Light at the end of the tunnel, train smacking you right down, and all that. Pfft. Time heals all, it’s true, but in the meantime, a book writing exercise sounds like a damn good idea. Happy writing / escaping.

  15. Pip, that makes so much sense! You’re so right… when things don’t feel right, why keep trying to do the same thing? And yet we do, which is silly. Thank you again for pointing out what should be kind of obvious to us all. Also, thank you for your honesty. Even in the crafty lovely world things aren’t all pretty rainbow colours and successfully completed insta-worthy projects. Sometimes things are rubbish, more than rubbish, major rubbish, epic rubbish even. Good luck with the writing and thank you for letting us in on your world a little. Big internet hugs for you.

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