My Writing Adventure

Well, I survived the dentist! It wasn’t too bad. The first shot of Novocain didn’t really work. Thankfully, the second shot did, but I still felt intense pain a few times during the procedure. I’m so glad it’s done and feeling very thankful for Novocain. My teeth are a little tender today, but I think I’ll be just fine. I told Jimmy that if I ever need anything more than a cavity filled or repaired, I’m looking into sedation dentistry 😉

Photo on 3-22-16 at 4.59 PM #2

I decided to treat myself for making it through the dentist by giving myself a manicure with hot pink polish to celebrate spring. (Can you tell I was having fun with webcam filters in the picture?!) Funny story: My hand twitched while I was painting my nails and I spilled polish all over my shirt, jeans, and couch. I guess I was feeling jumpy?!

So, now I’m ready to discuss my book writing process! Let’s dive in.

As I mentioned previously, my book idea started with a question. I woke up one morning and thought if this happened, then what? The first thing I did was grab a piece of paper and let my mind run wild. I jotted down basic ideas, questions, names, themes, and places. I was honestly surprised I wanted to write a novel because I’m such a huge fan of nonfiction, but I decided to just go with it.

Once I had the basic gist of the plot, I started to create an outline. The outline was more detailed in the first few chapters, and I have continued to update it as I have delved further into the story and have a better idea of what I want to happen in later chapters. I will note, though, that I still don’t have a specific ending for the story yet. I’m torn on what I want to happen, ha. I think as I continue to write, it will become more clear. I hope!

I made profiles of each character, then a spreadsheet of all the characters. I also made a document filled with all the town names, houses, and places in the novel and descriptions for each place.


Thankfully Jimmy allows me to use his laptop to write! And blog 🙂

After creating the outline, character profiles, and places document came the hardest part: starting. I was incredibly afraid to just start writing, but once I did I was fine. At first, I was writing thousands of words a day, and some days I still do. Other days I’m at 500 or less. I try to focus on quality over quantity!

I also created a scene list, which has been very helpful when I don’t want to go back through the whole document and find a specific detail. I try to write every day, but it doesn’t always happen. As for what time I write, I’m all over the place. Morning, noon, or night, if I have free time I try to hit the keyboard. I don’t have a schedule because I work different hours and jobs each day.

I’m currently about 30,000 words into my first draft. Being the journalism major that I am, I have gone back and edited a few times, but nothing too serious. I’ve heard that you should never edit a first draft until you’re finished, but it has been helpful for me to edit here and there so I keep my plot and characters’ voices focused.


The biggest challenges so far have been choosing character names I like, writing from a male’s perspective (each chapter switches between a male and female as the first person narrator) and just staying dedicated to writing as much as I can. It’s way too easy to get distracted.

The best parts of this journey have been the learning experience of writing a book and having something that is inspired by various experiences I have had or have simply wanted to learn and write about. Basically, it feels amazing to create. I was asked if I will share the plot, and I may in due time. I’m still so protective of my “baby” and self-conscious about the story, but we’ll see if that changes as I get closer to finishing.

I don’t know if I’ll look into having my book published. If I really like the story, I will probably try. If not, I’ll be glad I embarked on this fun experience. Either way, it has been great and I’m following God’s lead for my life as best I can.

I think that’s everything?! Feel free to ask any other questions in the comments. Thanks, again, to everyone who is so supportive and encouraging. It means a lot to me!

The Best

Blog friends are simply the best. Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. The encouraging words mean the world to me and I will definitely be revisiting them when I have writer’s block or feel discouraged. It’s truly wonderful to be able to “put myself out there” and receive nothing but love and support in return.

Speaking of writing, I received a few questions about my book and the way I’m writing. I was thinking about doing a separate post to answer the questions and explain my process. What do you guys think? If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them 🙂

Other things that are the best…


Lola wearing Jimmy’s t-shirt. I don’t know what prompted me to put it on her, but she looked incredibly adorable. I posted a video of her modeling it on my Snapchat, which reminds me to tell everyone that I’m on Snapchat. My username is allieksmith. Let’s be friends!

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Visiting Jimmy at work. His family’s welding shop has been extremely busy lately, which has resulted in Jimmy working some late nights. Lola and I brought him and my father-in-law dinner last week (my father-in-law even shared some with Lola!) and hung out for a while. It’s always amazing to see Jimmy in action.


Spring has officially started. Though it’s currently snowing in Pittsburgh, I couldn’t be happier it’s actually spring. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the extra daylight lately. I also adore seeing daffodils poking through the ground when Lola and I go on our daily walk.

Well, I better get going. I have cookies to bake for a church fellowship tonight (I’m making these) and want get our house cleaned up for the coming week.

I have a dental appointment on Tuesday to have an old filling fixed. Not fun. We also don’t have dental insurance. Not fun. I’m glad Jimmy and I are blessed enough to afford dental care, though, because it’s important! I’d appreciate prayers that the appointment would go well 🙂

Do you love or hate going to the dentist?

I don’t mind getting my teeth cleaned, but any procedures beyond that make me want to cry.

What are the best things in your life right now?

My faith, spending time with my husband, practicing being present in my everyday life, snuggling Lola, writing, my church family, amazing blog friends, coffee, and the fact that spring is here.