Writing My First Novel

Candice Jarrett

Over the past two+ years, I’ve written not one but two full-length novels.

I still can’t believe it myself… yet, here I am. A songwriter turned aspiring author.

How did this happen???

In late 2016, I had just released my album The China Doll which I had dedicated over two years to writing and producing… and after that album was finally released, I planned to give myself a small bit of creative rest to recharge my songwriting batteries before I would start up again. Only I didn’t. I kept making videos and marketing my work and I never took the break until January of 2017. When that month came around, I decided that the New Year was the perfect time to take a week’s vacation.

Self-Care Led to Self-Discovery

My plan was simply to unwind by watching movies, reading books, cooking nice meals, and just taking care of myself.

I told myself after a week or so I would immediately start vlogging, writing more songs, and getting back to work pushing even harder than before.. Life would go on as normal.

But something unexpected happened that week that changed the course of my life.

There’s a movie I absolutely ADORE called Howl’s Moving Castle by the acclaimed Studio Ghibli and award winning director Hayao Miyazaki. I love, love, love that movie. When I found out that the movie Howl’s Moving Castle was actually adapted from a book by an English author named Dianna Wynne Jones, I decided to pick up a copy and read the book. I knew I’d probably love it, since I already loved the movie so much. I figured it would be a great way to relax during my break.

Once I started reading, I was completely sucked in. It was like grabbing the tail of a comet and getting flown across a sky full of stars… The magic reached inside me, inspired me, and gave me a gift.

The Moment I Started Writing My Novel…

By the time I turned the last page and set the book on my nightstand, my heart knew I had my own stories and adventures inside me begging to be written.

My pulse pounded as I threw off the covers, I literally ran to my computer, and chapter 1 poured out of me. I wrote through the night until 5 in the morning. The sun peeked through my window blinds, but I was staring wide-eyed at my computer screen, my hands trembling. I knew in that minute that my life was about to change in a huge way… I was on the precipice of change and couldn’t turn away from it.

I had never dreamed of being an author because I honestly never thought I was dedicated, disciplined, or capable enough… yet here I was with the first chapter already under my fingertips.

My feet dragged me to bed, and though my mind was still going a thousand miles a minute, sleep came to give me a reprieve.

A few hours later, my eyes shot open and I practically leapt out of bed again and raced back to my computer… I didn’t even eat or have my usual coffee. I rewrote part of chapter 1 and started chapter 2. The story turned over and over in my mind.

In the coming days and weeks, I’d even started dreaming about it.

It grew faster than I could physically type it… and it was so alive in my head that I absolutely had to see it through… I had to know how the story would end, and only I could tell it.

It took me a year and a half to finish that first manuscript. Once I was done with that story, I started another book which only took me 6 months to write… like anything else, when you work at something it gets easier over time.

What’s Next For Me?

I’ve been a songwriter for a long time, but I have zero experience in the publishing industry… so I started to do research. What I found is not super encouraging…

Publishing the traditional way – which I really want to try – takes a REALLY long time and is REALLY difficult to do. By the time a publisher agrees to take my book, it could be another year or more until it’s actually in the store. And who knows if I’ll even find a publisher who believes in my stories as much as I do? It’s scary starting over… but I know in my heart I must do this.

But I’m not going to just sit on my hands during this time and do nothing. No! I’m going to write more books and blog to share my adventures with anyone who wants to go with me on this journey!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Your support means the world to me! ♥️ ♥️ ♥️