How I wrote my first book

How-to-Tuesday #11

I promised I would write a post about my writing process and I always keep my promises, so here goes nothing. Let me start this off by saying I’m not an published author, not even close. I’ve never had any classes in creative writing and 80% of the time I have no idea what I’m doing, but maybe my process can help someone else and that is all that matters.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I started writing stories when I was still really young. When I started High School I read more and more YA novels and knew that that was what I wanted to write too. When I was sixteen I started creating this story and I have probably spend the next 3 to 4 years building the world in which the story takes place and writing the first book. I wish I could share the writing with all of you, but I wrote the story in Dutch… I’m sorry!

So how did I get started?

Honestly, for me the beginning of every story kind of just happens. I spend a lot of my day just daydreaming and creating characters and scenarios. One day I was in the car with my family. We were driving home after visiting my grandmother. It was pretty late and I was staring out of the window. I was really tired and this poem/prologue just wrote itself. The next few days, I kept thinking about the prologue and the story just started to unfold. Before I knew it I was immersed into the world of Zoë (the main character). It was never my intention to actually write the entire story, but I kept going back to that particular world. I wanted to know how it would end. I knew I had to write everything down and that’s when the next step in my process started.

I started creating, what I like to call an event map. It’s a chronological word-cloud of all the main events that happen in the story. I’m basically creating a timeline for the story. It helps me connect one event to another. This process took the longest. Sometimes my brain things of two or even more possible events that could take place simultaneously and I have to write the storylines for all these possibilities before I decide which one is the best.

Most of this process consists of me lying down in bed and letting my brain create the different storylines. For me it’s like watching a movie that I can control. Maybe this sounds weird, but my brain has always worked like that. I write everything down and basically have this notebook filled with possible timelines for the story. Sometimes I would even draw stuff. Wait, I’ll take a picture of it!


Taking a look into this notebook is basically the same as taking a look into my brain. Once the event map is done the writing starts.

This was really a process of trial and error. My writing has changed a lot over the years and this story was written over a period of 3 years. I had to go back and rewrite certain chapters. Sometimes I would go back to the event map and create an entire new storyline.

I finished the book more than ten times and would keep going back and changing things. The file I have on my computer right now hasn’t been touched for more than 2 years. The truth is, I send the manuscript to different publishers but was rejected, then university happened and after that I forgot the manuscript even existed.

It is funny though, after I finished the first book, the story kept going. The timeline for the second book is already in my head and I have created most of the event map.

In February, I’ll be starting a new job and once I’ve had some time to adjust to the work I want to start writing the story again. I’ve thought about maybe translating the story into English. I want to try and see if my English is sufficient enough to write a novel.

I don’t know if anyone thinks this post is interesting, but here you go. This is my writing process.

Have a nice Tuesday!

Ps. I’ve decided to write a separate post about the actual story. This post was already getting really long and I didn’t want it to get boring. I will post that blogpost tomorrow. Maybe I’ll even translate the poem/prologue that started it all into English!


How-to-Tuesday #10

This Tuesday let me give you some tips on how to survive 2017!

I normally never do New Year’s resolutions, but I thought this year would be the best time to start. I mean, 2016 has been a hell of a ride and I need some positivity to survive 2017. However, I’m not interested in those stupid resolutions that are impossible to actually stick to.

I’ll only eat fast food once a moth.

  • Yeah right, Martha, we all know that the cashiers at Macdonald’s know your order by heart and call you by your first name.

I’ll go to the gym four times a week to get a six pack.

  • Of course you are, uncle John. Just remember that just because you call your bar the gym and always drink a six pack of beer doesn’t mean anything.

I’ll be nice to everyone this year.

  • Emma, you even yelled at your own reflection in the mirror because you couldn’t get your eye-liner right.


So here are my 10 resolutions. Feel free to steal these resolutions for your 2017.


  1. Listen to a song I love every morning after I wake up. What better way to start your day than some nice music?
  2. Smile to a random stranger whenever I walk down to street. Sometimes the best way to make yourself feel better is by making someone else happy.
  3. Enjoy every time I eat something unhealthy. I personally believe you need stick to a diet that is a good balance between healthy and unhealthy food. Just remember that when you do go for something really unhealthy to enjoy every bite!
  4. Compliment others. Giving a compliment is the easiest thing in the world so why not do it more often?
  5. Go for a walk every once in a while. I have lived in the same town all my life and there is still so much to explore. You don’t have to go out every day. Remember, these resolutions need to be realistic. And maybe take a picture every time you go out to remember this accomplishment, because sometimes just going outside is enough.
  6. Try to learn something new every day. It doesn’t matter what it is. Maybe write it down as well.
  7. Recycle! This is something I already do at home, but it can be a great feeling to do just a little extra to help the environment.
  8. Every month, go one day without your phone. I know some people need their phone for work, so by all means keep your phone turned on, but try not to use it all day. Instead, read that book that has been staring at you from the bookshelf for months and months. Maybe try to survive the day without internet as well!
  9. Invest more time in your blog. This one is really aimed at myself, but it can be used by anyone. Just change the word blog for whatever hobby makes you happy. Maybe photography, painting, design, learning a new language, gardening, singing, playing an instrument. Anything is possible.
  10. Don’t get mad when something doesn’t work out. It’s always a good idea to set goals, but don’t get obsessed with them. Never forget that failure is a part of learning too!


I know it isn’t New Year’s yet, but it’s time to start thinking about your resolutions. Either join me in my attempt to successfully accomplish my resolutions or let this list inspire you to create your own list. Let me know what your resolutions will be for 2017!

Have a nice Tuesday.

How-to-Tuesday #9

This Tuesday: How to get motivated to exercise?

It’s almost that time of year again, New Year’s Eve, and you know what that means. New Year’s resolutions. Eating healthier, going out more, studying more, spending more time with friends and family and probably the most common resolution of all: exercising. I’m probably the most lazy person you’ll ever meet so here are my 5 stages of exercise.

Denial: I’m feeling good. I’m ready to do this. Gym, here I come! I got this! No problem. My body will look incredible.

Anger: I totally didn’t go to the gym last night. I’m an awful person. I’m such an idiot. I hate myself!

Bargaining: I’ll just have that one cookie and instead of watching TV I’ll go running tonight. Yeah, no worries.

Depression: It was just one cookie… Okay, maybe two… and a half. But come on, that half cookie didn’t count. I should have gone running, though. I know. I’m fat.

Acceptance: It’s fine I don’t need to go to the gym. My body looks amazing anyways. There’s just more of me to love. I mean, who really cares? I don’t.

Hey, look a cookie!


Have a nice Tuesday.

How-to-Tuesday #8

You know what time it is?
Yeah you do. It’s time to get off your butts and say bye-bye to vacation. We’re all going back to school and I want to help. This is a how-to-get-ready-for-school-in-the-morning post. You ready? Let’s do this.

The night before preparations:
First of all, you need to get a comfortable sweatshirt with matching sweatpants (wool socks are optional).
Second you need to get a nice and warm blanket, preferably one that’s twice your size so you can really cuddle into it.
Third get into bed and roll yourself into your blanket.
Don’t forget to set your alarm clock.
Go to sleep. (Maybe watch some more YouTube videos before you really go to sleep, though.)

After your alarm goes off:
Ignore the terrifying noise.
When this doesn’t work, hit the alarm clock aggressively.
Whatever you do, don’t get up. Stay in bed in your protective ball of comfort.
Hit the snooze button.

Five minutes later:
Don’t even bother, just hit the snooze button again. You have more than enough time to get ready. And whatever, you don’t need to shower.

After hitting the snooze button another two times:
You should probably wake up if you want to at least look decent.

Two snooze buttons later:
Don’t worry about it. You can just wear your sweats to school. You’re cool like that. Just hit that snooze button again.

10 minutes later:
You don’t need to eat breakfast.

15 minutes later:
Maybe you should just call in sick. The first day of school sucks anyway. Yeah, you should just stay at home. Don’t even worry about it. Tomorrow the sun will rise again, and maybe you will too. We’ll see. Just go back to sleep. We’ll try again tomorrow.

I hope this helps.

Have a nice Tuesday.

How-to-Tuesday #7

Yep, I’m still in the Czech Republic. It truly is an amazing country, but it can be difficult to communicate with people who speak a different language. I speak Dutch, English, some German and some French, but Czech? Not so much. Today, I thought I would give you some different techniques on how to communicate with someone that speaks a different language. Things are about to get intense.

Technique number one: Scream and yell. When someone doesn’t understand what you’re saying try raising your voice. If this doesn’t work keep turning the volume up! Scream, yell, maybe shout a little. It will work. I promise.

Technique number two: The pointer. When you need something just keep pointing at the thing you want. Just keep that finger up in the air. You can also use the aggressive point! Really put your body into it. Don’t give up.

Technique number three: Sign language. I know the Italians are pros at this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use this technique as well. Use your arms, your legs, twist your hips, do a handstand, try an interpretive dance. Just do whatever it takes to explain yourself.

Technique number four: Emotional breakdown. Everybody understands emotions. Sadness, anger, fright, happiness. Trust me when all else fails your emotions will get the message across.

Technique number five: Google that sh*t. When nothing worked and you really don’t know what to do just use Google Translate. Type in whatever you want to say and click the Mic icon thingie. Some scary voice will pronounce whatever you want to say, perfectly.

I hope this helped at least one of you.

Have a nice Tuesday.

How-to-Tuesday #6

Everybody loves music. That’s the thing about music there are so many different types there’s something for everyone. Pop, R&B, Jazz, Classical, Rock, Dubstep (I could literally go on for hours).
There are hundreds of thousands of people who want to become musicians. It’s a hard business to get into. But I truly believe that everyone should have a change to make their dreams come true, so I did a little research and found this formula for writing song lyrics. It’s flawless.
This Tuesday how to write a song!

First of all, you need to find a fun word for butts. Maybe booty, badonkadonk (my personal favourite), junk in the trunk (this one already rhymes), tooshy (so cute)!
Use this word as often as possible.

Next, bring up your exes. The rougher the breakup the better! Tell us all the dirty and painful details, but don’t tell us who it’s really about. Keep us guessing!

B*tch! Yep, you guessed it. Use this word at least once. (I tried to think of the male equivalent, but douchebag just doesn’t have the same powerful ring to it.)

Throw your own name in there somewhere. It doesn’t matter when, just shout out your name at random. It has no extra meaning for the song, but who cares! People need to know who’s singing, right?!?

Do a bit in another language! It doesn’t even have to make sense, just use google translate! It makes you sound interesting and smart!

And last but not least, talk about sex in some symbolic way. Letting her dance around my pole, toasting her buns, bumby rides, testing the bed, dirtying up the sheets. Just make something up. Have fun with it.

This is all you need!

Have a nice Tuesday.

How-to-Tuesday #5

Yeey, another how to! This week: How not to be afraid!
Nowadays people are pretty much scared of everything. Arachnophobia, Aulophobia, Diabetophobia, Gnosiophobia, Menophobia, Thermophobia or maybe Zemmiphobia. These are just some random phobia’s. You would be surprised how many there are.
But some fears make sense. Spiders are scary. People weren’t meant to be in small confining spaces. Being high up in the air is terrifying. Sharks aren’t cute and neither are snakes. There are some pretty scary things out there. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone by saying their fears aren’t valid, but fear seems to be taking control of our lives. The thing is things aren’t worth doing if they don’t scare you. I wrote a book and send it to different publisher. Scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It’s hard to do things we can’t control, but that’s often when the best things happen. So this Tuesday I have some tips to not be afraid.

Tip one: Is it a code red situation? Ask yourself if you doing the thing you’re afraid of is going to kill you. Is it even necessary (a shirt has one collar, two sleeves! Anyone get it?) to be afraid? Just remind yourself the longer you keep thinking about it the worse your brain will make it seem. I mean the spider started out as a little creeper, but after a while your brain will convince you you’re fighting a dragon. Make sure you keep it real.

Tip two: What’s the worst thing that could happen? I mean really.

Tip three: Count till three. Don’t give yourself the time to back out. Count till three and ask that cute guy/girl out on a date. It only takes three seconds of courage and it can change your life forever.

Tip four: Think of the reward. Facing your fears head on and walking away unharmed is one of the best feelings in the world. Even when you lose you’ll feel like a winner. You did something scary. That’s awesome. Go you! Have a cookie.

Just remember it’s okay to be afraid just don’t let your fears stop you from doing the things you love! You deserve that! Don’t go looking for someone else to save you. Be your own superhero.

Have a nice Tuesday.