The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Word

Caffeine-free peppermint tea. Soothing Psalms music. I’m in another world.

I began my novel draft on schedule, January 18, 2012. Actually, I handwrote the first scene a few days before that because I knew I’d lose it otherwise. That unexpected scene set the course for the chapter and introduced an interesting subplot I have no idea what to do with. But that’s okay. I have about three others I’m clueless about as well. I love fiction.

Going down south for three days to visit family put me 4500 words behind my goal (1500 a day). I’m almost caught up, the grand total now just over 11,000. But what I didn’t expect on the trip was to sit on the couch in our condo at Piney Shores and watch two hours of Extreme Makeover (Home Edition) with my eighteen-year-old nephew. Probably the one clean show on TV we both could stand to watch. It had to be a God-thing, because one episode inspired a strong subplot in my novel I had had no idea would come until, literally, the words showed up on my screen. Not until the next day did I realize it tied in perfectly with another character I didn’t know until a character I did know introduced us.

Don’t worry—it’s not clear in my mind either. But I just thank the Lord for allowing this time in my life to write a novel.


For Him,

Sarah Elisabeth


Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer is an award-winning inspirational author, speaker and Choctaw storyteller of traditional and fictional tales based on the lives of her people. Get a free e-copy of her first book, "Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears": Free e-book

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12 comments on “The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Word
  1. Theresa says:

    You’re right. The thousand mile journey begins with one word. I’ve started coverting my blog (serial fiction) into a novel and set a goal of one chapter per week. Seems like a slow pace, but it’s steady and so far I have three solid chapters!

    I was wondering which software you use for writing. Do you stay in Microsoft Word, or do you use other writing software? I just started using Scrivener, and I love it because the program makes it simple for me to organize and arrange chapters, scenes, thoughts, research, etc.

    What do you use?
    Theresa recently posted..Piercing the Real WorldMy Profile

    • Sarah Elisabeth says:

      Congrats on getting it converted! One chapter a week is a nice pace. You should have it done in less than a year 🙂

      I just use Word right now. Scrivener is supposed to be good, and I have the Snowflake software, but for some reason, I don’t work well in those programs. I wish I did so my thoughts wouldn’t get scattered over five Docs. Maybe that’ll come someday 🙂

  2. I love it, Sara! Writing is so fun sometimes. 🙂
    Catrina Bradley recently posted..Friday Fiction: It’s For YouMy Profile

    • Sarah Elisabeth says:

      Some days you stare at the screen awhile, then go login to Facebook…other days you can’t stop the flood. That’s when you feel like you’re reading someone else’s story and anxiously turn the pages to see what happens next. It was one of those days 🙂

  3. You are on a journey……and you will be taking many others along with you!
    Linda Chapman recently posted..Preemie Layettes are ‘SEW’ Tiny!!!My Profile

    • Sarah Elisabeth says:

      I hope everyone enjoys the trip as much as I do!

  4. Lisa Mikitarian says:

    It seems like many of us have set goals–and it’s a great thing. I love how what we do in life plays out in our fiction. Cheering you on, Elizabeth!

    • Sarah Elisabeth says:

      Life playing out in our fiction often happens more times than we want to recognize, lol. Thanks for the encouragement, Lisa!

  5. Goin’ with the flow…..thank You Lord†

  6. Fantastic Sarah! I’m at the “stare at the screen” stage right now, so I think I’ll try watching Extreme Makeover with Bethany 🙂 LOL. hugs- keep writing!
    Cindy Barclay recently posted..HugsMy Profile

    • Sarah Elisabeth says:

      lol! You never know where inspiration will come from. Although, as one writer put it, “Yes, I write on inspiration. I just make sure I’m inspired every morning at 9a.m.” I have to remind myself of that on a daily basis!

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