The Novel Road by Bren Kyveli

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

-E. L. Doctorow

I have been working on my first novel for a year now, but if I’m being honest I’ve not been serious about it. It’s always just something I work on when I don’t have anything else and even then only half assed. I guess subconsciously I put it so far up on a pedestal that it sort of became this magical, unobtainable glass ceiling that only “real authors” were allowed to achieve.

But during my second round through a first draft boot camp group on Scribophile, I became extremely disheartened. My fellow cadets were chugging along hitting their first plot point then, their second, then their midway point, but I still had post-its, and a good idea… So I thought.

I went through and gathered every single piece I had ever written, anything to do with this novel; Scrivener, Evernote, Google doc, leather journal, spiral notebook, graph paper notebook, a build-your-novel workbook, and yes even the various post-its tossed in a folder. And guess what? I had an entire novel’s first draft! Granted it was  scrawled out in hodge pod get Bren-eense and scattered all over the place but it was a whole first draft non the less.

Something clicked inside my brain. I–Bren Kyveli, Queen of Procrastinators and Duchess of Self Doubters–seriously could write a book. It was all right there in front of me.

So I grabbed my graph paper and a wrote two sentence synopsis of all 30 chapters, bought a new journal, and set to work. Religiously. Every morning. For the last month.

Now my Muses are a lazy sot and like to make me do the leg work, so I’m still handwriting my novel in its special journal with a specific green Sharpie. But every chapter I complete I feel both exhilarated and drained. It’s the weirdest feeling, I’ve heard other authors say it’s like running a marathon but being I’ve never ran longer than maybe a mile, I have no idea if that’s accurate or not.

However, E. L. Doctorow’s quote above is a pretty spot on description. You know where you’re going, driven the road a hundred times, but now it’s midnight on a moonless night and a thick fog has rolled in. You slow down but your heart still races. You think you should stop and wait until the fog lifts but have this nagging feeling that your destination is just a little further up the scary road. So you keep going, with white knuckles and tense shoulders.

That’s what writing a novel feels like. It’s scary but empowering, absolutely draining but completely exhilarating at the same time. And I’m totally hooked.

So if your novel is that magical, unobtainable glass ceiling just take a moment and remember:

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

-E. L. Doctorow

You can write that novel. Just take it one chapter at a time and you’ll get there, you’re going to be someone’s favorite author one day!

Bren Kyveli is a stay at home mom of a spirited three year old little girl and a couple of rescued mutts. She’s been happily married to her high school sweetheart for twelve years now. She’s had a deep love for the written word since she was a toddler; reading everything she could get her hands on and always writing in a fancy journals with a pretty pens. Bren writes contemporary Romance and Erotica in the hours left at the end of the day when the house has gone to sleep.



You can find her work at, or follow her on Twitter at @AuthorBKyveli and if you’re really brave you can check out her Muses at work on Pinterest.

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