Growing a Novel

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.  ~Edmund Hillary, explorer, mountaineer, and one of two climbers confirmed to reach the top of Mount Everest first


path lies

straight ahead.

Put one word down

and then another

until you reach the end,

confident along the way

that you’ve written the best story

you can under the circumstances.

And won’t it feel great to finally finish?


Staring at a screen, forsaking playtime.

Growing a novel isn’t easy.

Maybe that’s why others don’t try.

Stop complaining and fretting!

Tackle the task at hand.

Watch the word count grow

as you write scenes

and chapters



Note: This poetic form is called Double Etheree.

13 thoughts on “Growing a Novel

  1. Ha! I’m the one who should tackle The Task at Hand and get a new post up! Novel or blog post, the same dynamics often apply. As for etherees, single or double, you’re ahead of me there, too. I’m going to blame it on the heat. After all, we have to blame it on something, right? This is such a great post — I’ll take it as encouragement!

    • I’m delighted if it gives you some encouragement, Linda! I blame a lot on this pandemic. While the isolation and distancing and such have given me plenty of time to write, my head finds it challenging to focus. Perhaps it’s true that we’re all craving a bit of normalcy right now — and TWO possible hurricanes in the Gulf aren’t helping, ha!

    • Don’t fret over that, Dawn! I have no doubt you *could* write both etheree and novel if you chose to, but if passion to do so doesn’t burn in your heart, you’re probably well ahead of the game by steering clear of them!

  2. Okay, first, I really love the quote you shared at the top of this post because it’s so true! It’s ourselves we conquer, not the mountains. Because it’s ourselves that “are” the mountains.

    And second, your brilliant Double Etheree so perfectly expresses that.

    You’re right, it’s all about putting one word down, then another, and another; believing that it’s exactly as it should be written.

    “Watch the word count grow

    as you write scenes

    and chapters



    Loved that!

    I can so identify with what you mean because it’s how I used to be when I was still acting in theater. I always fretted about how each performance would turn out, worrying about the conclusion before I even I got there. I finally realized that the only thing I could do would be to take each moment onstage as it came, then move to the next, then the next, until I got to the final scene.

    FABULOUS post, Debbie! What a great lesson!

    Have a super Sunday, my friend! X

    • What wisdom you’ve shared here, Ron: “I finally realized that the only thing I could do would be to take each moment onstage as it came, then move to the next, then the next, until I got to the final scene.” YES, that’s it exactly!

      As my dad used to say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nor is a novel (James Patterson excepting, ha!). Taking it word by word, chapter by chapter, until you get to The End is the only logical way to build one. (Though I must confess with this one, I’m contemplating writing the ending first, then working my way toward it!) It feels like it’s been a LONG time coming together, and I know I don’t want it to feel like an uphill climb for readers.

      Enjoy your Sunday — we’re heating up here to the 90s this week. At least I’m not having to make hurricane preparations! xx

  3. Tut-tut! I hope you weren’t writing this to distract yourself from writing your novel 😉 How’s it coming along anyway? I still have a reserved slot on my TBR for it. 😃

    • Me? Procrastinate? Surely you jest!! Seriously, I have been writing on the novel — not every single day, but most days, and it’s coming along. I’m saying this here and now in hopes ALL my friends will hold me to it — the next one, I outline. There, how’s that for learning from my mistakes?!! By the way, I’m honored you’re going to read it — thank you, my friend!

  4. I think you’ve captured the process of writing a novel perfectly! It seems like a daunting task at first, but if you just think of one step at a time (one word after another), it doesn’t see so bad.

    • Thanks so much, Ann, both for visiting and for your encouragement! Stringing words together (like beads on a chain) usually comes fairly easy for me; it’s putting them in proper order that’s the challenge!

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