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So – I have the crazy urge to write another book. 


Crazy because I just wrote three books in two years, and for many weeks after finishing the last one, I thought, “If I never write another page of another book ever again, I will die happy.”


But now… I want to write again.  Not just any book.  I really, really want to try to write a fiction book.  You see, I am a non-fiction writer.  I majored in non-fiction.  I’ve only finished one fiction story ever (and that was in 8th grade – granted, it was 70-odd pages long).  I am in awe of people who can actually write decent fiction.   And maybe because I suspect I will slightly suck at fiction, I really want to try to do it.  Not to get published.  Just to have fun.  Just to say, “I wrote a novel,” even if my next thought is, “And I’m not letting you read it because it is pretty shit.”


A few months back, I actually started a Young Adult (YA) novel.  Every night for a week, I wrote and wrote and wrote.  I got about 20 pages in, re-read the whole mess, and decided that I hated my main character.  That’s a problem.  So lately, I’ve back to the drawing board, looking for fun fiction inspiration.  Since my dreams have been so crazy, I’ve been going over each dream to see if there’s a good story in there.  I’ve also been paying more attention to the news, as all good fiction stories have a grain of truth in them. 


My favorite type of fiction is the YA genre; I don’t really care if this makes me look low-brow or immature.  YA rocks!   I love to read about where authors get their ideas. 


  • Harry Potter:  JK Rowling was on a crowded train on her way to London when the idea simply ‘fell into her head.’


  • The Hunger Games: Suzanne Collins was channel-surfing between news coverage on the Iraq War and a reality show competition when she got the idea for her book series.


  • Twilight:  Stephanie Meyer had a very vivid dream of a teenage girl and a vampire having an intense conversation in a meadow about falling in love, even though the vampire wanted to suck her blood.


Neat, huh?  Hearing stories like that makes me wonder how many times I’ve had a really, really good idea but missed tremendous success by failing to follow through.  So – kind of a random post, but I just wanted to share something non-healthy living that’s been on my mind lately.  I’m really excited to get started and try to be more creative with fiction… I just need a really good idea!



  • Layonda November 27, 2011, 10:37 am

    I actually find posts like these hard to read. I have had many lapses as a writer and find that reading other’s journeys tends to stress me out.

    I suppose that is because I am a very private person with my business, which I guess is naturally opposite to you (considerig the openness of your blog).

    I believe this desire of yours is held by many, so you’re thoughts are shared by many. If you do something you love and it ends up in a trash can or in your desk drawer for the rest of your life, then that is okay too, as long as you are always doing what you love.

    • Christine @ BookishlyB November 27, 2011, 11:01 am

      I often feel the same way- I keep my writing private as well (my husband doesn’t even know my ideas) and hearing others makes me realize I’ve done very little to do something I really want to do. I think, though, it obviously stems from my own insecurities, which is my problem not the rest of the world’s. Heck, maybe if I publicly proclaimed it like Caitlyn I’d be more likely to be productive.

  • Emily November 27, 2011, 10:42 am

    I think fiction is hard because in a way you’re telling people about your fantasies. You have to put a lot of yourself into it to make it a good story.

    It takes some balls to expose yourself in that way.

    • CaitlinHTP November 27, 2011, 10:44 am

      Oooo good point! Maybe this is why I struggle with it. Everything I write, I feel like is just me, but thinly veiled. LOL

      • Mel @ MelRuns November 27, 2011, 10:57 am

        haha I think that’s the kind of actress I would be. Always me, just with a different accent and wig.

  • Heather November 27, 2011, 10:48 am

    FICTION! That’s what I write and I love it. I don’t know if the stuff I write is any good, of course, but it’s so fun to write. Emily is right though, it’s definitely a weirdly personal process.

  • Mel @ MelRuns November 27, 2011, 10:55 am

    I honestly think about this all the time too! And wonder if I have the creativity to make things up for pages and pages. I read some tips in a writer’s magazine that if you attach characteristics from people you know or have seen to the fiction characters in your story, it helps you bring them to life in a real way for not only your readers, but for yourself too–and the story unfolds easier because you can envision their next move.

    I’m excited for you!! 100% support 🙂

  • steph November 27, 2011, 10:57 am

    I love that you say you want to write for yourself foremost. I think it’s dangerous to go into any creative writing endeavour motivated solely by an idea that you want to sell it or make a profit – it will be hard to find your true voice and it’s a very emotional experience trying to have your fiction work published.
    I also think everyone should write fiction; it’s so theraputic and fun!!! Good luck, I’m sure your work will be brilliant!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB November 27, 2011, 10:58 am

    As an English BA holder, English teacher, book blogger and novel collector it has always made sense for me to write a novel, but I haven’t. I am extremely picky with what I read and will therefore be extremely picky with whatever I’d dare submit. Not to mention the time factor!

    I think fiction writing is very difficult, because you want to be realistic and unique at the same time.

    Good luck!

  • cathy November 27, 2011, 10:59 am

    ooo, too bad you didn’t have this idea a month ago, caitlin! you could have done NaNoWriMo (google it!). i blogged about writing a novel, this week – my issue, too, is – i need a storyline! and young adult would be my genre of choice, too.
    go for it! just sit down and start writing!

    • Gretchen November 27, 2011, 11:21 am

      I was going to mention NaNoWriMo (, too, but someone already did a few comments up. It doesn’t have to be in November!

      Also, have you ever read anything by John Green? Such a good YA author!

      • Gretchen November 27, 2011, 11:23 am

        Umm, I’m not sure why that turned out to be a reply and not its own separate comment.. oops

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 27, 2011, 11:00 am

    I think you should go for it Caitlin! You’re such a great writer already and I agree with you, it would be a fun new path to explore, especially considering you’re 100% doing it for yourself because you enjoy it so much. Can’t wait to hear more about this project!

  • Shari November 27, 2011, 11:04 am

    Oh, you should SO do it! I can honestly and sincerely say that writing my novels has been the most incredible, inspiring journey of my life. Each of the three has taught me so much – about the writing process and also about myself. The characters have become my friends, and I consider it such a gift to go along with them on their journeys. Would you believe I even cried when finishing my second and third books, that’s how emotionally invested I was?

    Your passion for this is obvious, and that’s such a wonderful starting point. Good luck with it!! 🙂

  • Laura @ She Eats Well November 27, 2011, 11:05 am

    Do it! I would most certainly read your YA novel :).

  • Army Amy* November 27, 2011, 11:06 am

    I’m all about YA! It gets a bad rap, but some if the best books out there are young adult fiction.*

  • Eating as a Path to Yoga November 27, 2011, 11:24 am

    I love, love, love YA! Esp science fiction/fantasy end of the world type stuff.

    I recommend:

    Matched by Allie Condie

    Life As We Knew It, The Dead And The Gone, and This World We Live In. All by Susan Beth Pfeffer

    Rock on, YA!

  • Katie November 27, 2011, 11:27 am

    Do it! My best friend is a writer, and she’s found that it’s helpful to write the whole thing and not re-read until she’s done. Otherwise, she judges what she’s written and then continues to judge what she writes. It halts the flow of creativity. She says if she waits until it’s all done to edit, she gets a story with much more heart. Everyone has a different process, but I figured I’d pass that along. Good luck!

    • briana November 27, 2011, 11:31 am

      This was going to be my exact advice! Good luck, Caitlin!

  • kimmy November 27, 2011, 11:28 am

    I wrote a fiction YA novel. The hardest part for me was all the rejection (89 total), so I did self publishing and I am getting great feedback. Part of me wishes I would have just stuck with writing for fun though. 🙂

  • Abi November 27, 2011, 11:35 am

    YA is honestly my favourite genre of fiction. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of author John Green, but some of his absolutely changed the way I see the world and the people in it. YA books seem to do this for a lot of people in a way that ‘adult’ books don’t quite manage, so I’ll take them over anything high-brow any day of the week.
    Good luck with the book!

  • Marcy November 27, 2011, 11:39 am

    How exciting! I really liked the anecdotes about the young adult novels. Now that you’ve announced it publicly, I bet it will become a reality. Maybe we’ll get a peek of it?

  • Sarah R November 27, 2011, 11:46 am

    Even if you think it’s crappy, I would LOVE to read your (soon to be written) book!

  • Cindy November 27, 2011, 11:48 am

    I want to turn my dissertation into a book on bullying. I’m kind of overwhelmed by the whole thing, which is why I haven’t started it yet.

    I’ve written some fiction, but nothing near the caliber of a novel.

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb November 27, 2011, 11:50 am

    so cool, caitlin! i say go for it… what do you have to lose?

  • Khushboo November 27, 2011, 11:53 am

    I know you can’t compare blogging and novels but in terms of a lot of my blog posts, they stem from the most random of thoughts/locations!

  • Joy J November 27, 2011, 11:59 am

    Definitely try and remember your crazy dreams—that is how Stephanie Meyer got her idea for the Twilight series. She had a dream of the meadow scene and ran from there:)

    Good luck!

  • Moni'sMeals November 27, 2011, 12:01 pm

    I think you should!

    Harry Potter is my ulitmate too. 🙂

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel November 27, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Baby HTP must be getting to your head! Hahaha….but if you want to try another book, go for it! Might as well try it out–you can always stop if you don’t want to do it anymore.

  • Sana November 27, 2011, 12:35 pm

    Writing is just hard, well for me, I am a science person, but one time I saw these deaf men on campus and suddenly I felt the urge to write a story about the world that they live in. I turned it in to my creative fiction professor and I got a B-, that was like a A+ for my science loving heart 🙂

  • Amy November 27, 2011, 12:52 pm

    This is actually something I know about! I just signed with an agent for the YA novel I wrote and we’ll be going out on submission soon. YA is an absolutely wonderful genre and anyone who says it makes you immature isn’t reading it. I’ve written lots of YA novels, but sometimes I still get that “oh my gosh I have no ideas” feeling.

    My biggest advice is to totally let go and READ. I love all the books listed above, but in terms of current YA they don’t even come close to representing what’s being published and what’s popular. Read read read read and the ideas will come. 🙂

  • Kelly November 27, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I completely agree that YA is so good sometimes! I’m not really into the fantasy ones that you are, but I just recently read Book Thief and I thought that was so good. Good luck with the writing ideas 🙂

  • Kate November 27, 2011, 1:09 pm

    I really admire anyone that can write fiction. I’m pretty much the least creative person ever, so I couldn’t even imagine the amount of work that goes into writing fiction. I’ve never really been into YA novels, but I’m taking a children’s lit class and my professor is obsessed and she’s made some really good recommendations. I read Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson for an essay and it was really intense!

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 27, 2011, 1:13 pm

    When I was younger (aka not in law school) I read a TON of fiction novels and always wanted to write one as well. I say go for it. It may take years, but just make it a project that you work on when you’re feeling inspired and something great could come of it!

  • Amber K November 27, 2011, 1:18 pm

    I have tried writing many fiction novels. In fact, I have started out and even written a ton with inspiration fueling me. And then I’ll totally hate either my characters, where I set it, or something else that pretty much takes me back to the drawing board.

    And yet…it’s fun! I like getting wrapped up in a story or an idea. I don’t know if I will ever have a hugely successful series like the authors you mentioned, but I think it’s good to keep the creativity flowing.

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 27, 2011, 1:29 pm

    It’s great that you’re pursuing your dreams (literally and figuratively!) and have another book on your radar screen. That’s wonderful that you feel inspired to write more and glad you can enjoy this time before your baby and savor your free moments to write. Excited to hear more about this!

  • Vikki November 27, 2011, 2:27 pm

    You should have totally done nanowrimo.

    • Lauren November 27, 2011, 3:41 pm

      NanoWrmi is the best!!!

  • Mahesha November 27, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I love YA novels. Hey maybe you can write about your own love story and tweak it the way you want. American girl falling in love with a Brit boy is totally YA material! And oh so romantic. 🙂 Best of luck with it! Whatever you write, I know you’d do an amazing job. I hope it gets published so we can read it too. 🙂

  • Shelly November 27, 2011, 2:53 pm

    I get the best ideas for books when driving by myself, especially on a long road trip, but they escape by the time I have a chance to write them down.
    The hubby and I were jokingly making up a movie script via text yesterday and I think it would have been pretty good had we finished it. Haha!

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon November 27, 2011, 2:56 pm

    Totally with you on the YA fiction. Reading those novels is such a needed escape from real life! Same goes for teen tv (degrassi anyone?) and teen magazines (helloooooo seventeen!)

  • Candice @ Sailing on Paper November 27, 2011, 2:59 pm

    The key to writing good fiction is just to write and write! The more revision you do, the better. And you’ll probably find that the story takes you places you haven’t even thought of as you keep writing. I also think that writing groups are really helpful. I’m pretty sure that you can find some online, too! Good luck 🙂

  • Liz November 27, 2011, 3:38 pm

    That would be so cool if you wrote a novel, especially a YA one! I personally enjoy YA the most of all fiction, as well – I think maybe because when I was the ‘right’ age to read that type of book, good YA fiction didn’t really exist. I’ve actually dreamed of writing a book like that for a few years, too, (with all the Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games type of books around that I’ve loved!) but I’ve never thought of myself as much of a writer, so I guess I’ll live vicariously through you! 🙂

  • Lauren November 27, 2011, 3:40 pm

    You should totally do Nano Wrimo (National Novel Writing Month)! It is an online contest against yourself to try to write a 50,000 word book just in the month of November! You just write and save the editing for after November. I did it last year and finished on November 29th 🙂 I have never felt so accomplished, ha.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 27, 2011, 3:42 pm

    ooooh how exciting! Sounds like a great challenge!

  • Kelly November 27, 2011, 4:14 pm

    I love the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child. (The 18th Jack Reacher novel just came out this fall and a movie is currently in production based on one of the books) I read an article once about how when Lee Child was writing the books he couldn’t think of what to name his main character. He and his were financially struggling and he needed this was his first book. He and his wife were at the grocery store and this old lady kindly asked Mr. Child if he could reach a product on the top shelf for her. (apparently Lee Child is really tall) and his wife mused that should his novel not make it he could always get a job as a professional reacher. And just like that his character had a name. We now have the Jack Reacher novels.

  • Mel @ Post Grad Mel November 27, 2011, 4:20 pm

    This is awesome! I think life would be incredibly boring if we weren’t always looking for the next challenge.

    Since you love YA you should check out The Book Thief. It’s in the YA genre and its won so many lit awards. It was hands down one of the best books I’ve read this year. It takes place in Nazi Germany, so if historical fiction is your thing you’ll especially love it. It’s one of the most gripping, page turnings books I’ve ever read.

  • caroline November 27, 2011, 4:25 pm

    this idea occurred to me the other day – a society in which people were somehow fundamentally different in their social makeup and rendered incapable of having relationships beyond the acquaintance level; what sort of implications would that have? not necessarily dystopian, but an interesting idea…particularly if the protagonist were to be the only person who notices the issue

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 27, 2011, 5:07 pm

    That definitely sounds cool in theory….so I will let you live that dream out! Hah. I’ve never wanted to be a novelist, but I sure can’t wait to see what you come up with! 🙂

    Very cool to see where these amazing authors got their ideas…SO creative!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life November 27, 2011, 5:21 pm

    Good luck! Have you seen the JK Rowling movie that was on Lifetime? I’m getting the DVD for Christmas this year, as I just read Harry Potter for the first time this past summer 🙂

  • Katherina November 27, 2011, 5:22 pm

    Like others have said, try NaNoWriMo.

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) November 27, 2011, 6:18 pm

    I have nearly a dozen fiction short-stories written or in progress, yet I never seem to finish them. The one story I did finish I entered into a contest and received 4th place out of ????. Still, neat to know!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed November 27, 2011, 6:47 pm

    I can’t even imagine writing a book! Although a year ago, I couldn’t imagine writing a blog… so who knows. I love Twilight and I need to read the Hunger Games, so I’m definitely with you loving the YA novels. I feel like you’re not really in a rush, so keep brainstorming and keep dreaming, you’ll think of something soon enough 🙂

  • Robin November 27, 2011, 7:02 pm

    Go for it! And don’t say it’s non-healthy living. Having goals and dreams and doing what you love IS healthy living!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 27, 2011, 7:49 pm

    Every few months I get the urge to write a fiction story – and then I can’t think of anything to write about. It presents a problem.

  • Meagan November 27, 2011, 8:10 pm

    I write fiction, and I love it. I just finished National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)–have you ever heard of it? It’s a 50,000 words in November challenge. I love it! It really develops a sense of work ethic and a unique writing community.

    However, I will say, that to write fiction you just have to write. Sit down for 1 hour/1,000 words/whatever, everyday, no excuses. And just write. Whatever, doesn’t matter. Try your hardest to turn off your inner editor and just go for it. Eventually you’ll texture out a story. When I write consistently, I start seeing/thinking of story ideas ALL the time.

    I cannot recommend “On Writing” by Stephen King enough. It’s the most inspirational book I’ve ever read.

  • Ashley @ Cooking for John November 27, 2011, 8:45 pm

    Can’t wait to hear more about your novel! It’ll be awesome sauce! 😉

  • Allison November 27, 2011, 9:13 pm

    Third times the charm?! Do it!

    P.S. I recently started watching the Twilight movies and love them! Can’t wait to see the newest one…

  • colleen November 27, 2011, 10:14 pm

    I say go for it!

  • emily November 27, 2011, 10:39 pm

    Hello Caitlin:) My name is emily y, i live in bc canada and have been reading your blog since high school. (im 21 now) I just wanted to leave a quick message to say how much your blog and book have helped me in my life. I’m a recovering bulimic and your are a wonderful role model. I recently lent my copy of operation beautiful to a friend who loves it as well. We post pick-me-up notes all over our small town. Thank you for everything you represent and dont forget you have helped someone hundreds of miles away.

  • Lu @ A Mix of it All November 27, 2011, 11:21 pm

    I want to read The Hunger Games. I also like YA. You might want to look into the Fever Series by Karen Moning. It’s different, but fun.

  • Luv What You Do November 27, 2011, 11:40 pm

    I would like to write a fiction book too. It is kind of a big dream for a science nerd like myself, but I’m thinking ‘chick lit’ is my genre! Best of luck to you!

  • Kelly November 28, 2011, 12:34 am

    Sounds like an interesting challenge. I can see where you would get to the point you are at now because writing fiction is SO different from non-fiction. Not sure if you’ve mentioned this before, but have you tried going to writer’s groups? I think there is something wonderful about sharing your work with others and getting critiqued. I know at first it can seem a little uncomfortable and nerve wrecking, but often times people see things in our writing that we ourselves do not.

    I took a screenwriting class once and sharing work was my favorite part. It was interesting to see that the pieces that interested other people and that they wanted to see blown out, was not always what I would have expected. I think if it were me and I was looking to transition I might even take some fiction writing classes on the side to help myself grow.

  • Emily November 28, 2011, 5:17 am

    I write fiction!! The story just explodes in my mind and I can’t stop. I used to write young adult but I just found some chapters are way too dark for kids and there’s no regulation in an adult’s book. That being said, I ADORE HP! Can’t say the same for Twilight unfortunately – not enough emotional depth for someone who’s suffered a mental illness and there’s SO much emphasis on romance.

    I wish you all the best with your fiction writing:D

  • Jen November 28, 2011, 8:46 am

    You do not understand how much you have just inspired me….”but failed to follow through”. That is exactly what I do. That and the fact that I feel it will just be a complete waste of time and my work will never be acknowledged – and I want success. Because I’d want to do it for a living…

    The problem? Your last line. I need (and have no) good ideas…does that mean I’m not really meant to write then?? That’s what worries me 🙁

    • Elisabeth November 28, 2011, 11:51 am

      I was going to respond to Chelsy’s comment, but I’ll respond here since its similar.

      I think everyone wants to do it for the “success” as you say, so its good that you’re honest about that (not many are).

      But at the same time, be cautious of this. Do you only want to be “acknowleged” and “successful” as you state? Or do you love it, really love doing it? You don’t have to decide today or tommorow or anything.

      That’s just what I thought when I read a few comments like these. IMO, I think passion is always the priority, but that’s just my current perspective.

    • Tamara November 29, 2011, 7:57 am

      It’s about way way more than wanting to be acknowledged or wanting success. I think you have to want to do it.

  • Emily November 28, 2011, 11:28 am

    YA Fiction recommendation? Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer. She’s the wife of one of my grad school classmates, and this was her first novel. I love it! 🙂

  • Heather November 28, 2011, 11:56 am

    this weekend i found an old journal in the drawer of an end table when I was rearranging furniture. The very last few pages I had written in Decemember of last year. One of them includes wishes for 2011 – not resolutions, or goals – just thoughts of what I wanted 2011 to bring. In big bold letters in the middle of page it says “I WILL WRITE FICTION IN 2011!”

    I also SUCK at fiction, in my opinion. I wrote a few fiction PARAGRAPHS this year – and when I say wrote, i kinda mean “struggled through.”

    I think I may give it one more whirl before 2012 rolls around. Thank you for the inspiration, once again, my dear.

  • Elisabeth November 28, 2011, 12:00 pm

    I think reading is very important. The 3 you listed above are not even nearly representative of the literature today (though their arguably the most popular).

    YA shouldn’t be regarded as “immature”. As another commenter said above, if someone says that its because they don’t read it.

    Book Thief and The Maze Runner were great, thought-provoking books.

    I’m impressed that you know what genre you’d like to write in. I have interests in about 10 different genres! That is a problem 🙂

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) November 28, 2011, 12:00 pm

    I hate writing non fiction. it bores me to tears. the people that can do it, more power to them because someone needs to educate other people. I love my fiction, and that’s what I write. more along the lines of urban fantasy, sci fi, etc. where it has to do with witches, angels and vampires. I have one book written and am writing the second of the series.

    I am just . . . . sitting on the first because I am afraid that no publisher or agent would want to pick it up. ….. but 2012 is the year of change and I will find an agent or publisher and submit my work 🙂 i want to be a full fledged published author. it has been my dream since a child to be one.

  • Irina G (Fit Flexitarian) November 28, 2011, 12:10 pm

    Like you, I consider myself mostly a non-fiction writer but I’ve also started a YA novel in the past. I think it’s a really great genre and I am totally OBSESSED with the Hunger Games. The movie’s actually coming out the day after my Bday and guess what I’m doing as my Bday party? That’s right, dinner + the midnight showing. Haha.

    Anyway, I think you should totally do it! If you read a ton of YA (which it seems like you do), you already know what’s good and what’s bad. I like to journal out a rough outline before writing, and an idea can come from anywhere. A writing teacher once told me to pick up a magazine, flip to an advertisement and then make up a story about what is going on. There’s also the old adage of “write what you know”. Look back at something ridiculous you experienced as a teen (cause who doesn’t have something fun to share?) and see if a story can come from that. Good luck!!! You can do it. 🙂

  • Christie November 28, 2011, 9:25 pm

    I like this post! I think it is awesome that you share your goals and better yet, go after them. Who cares if someone thinks it’s immature. They can suck it! (Sorry, just heard Kathy Griffin on TV and can’t stop saying that!)

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