Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Out With The Outline


When I was young my sister and I were having a slumber party in her bedroom. She told me there was a candy bar at the bottom of my sleeping bag. I crawled in head first already tasting the milk chocolate and she zipped it shut. I was trapped. I couldn’t breathe ~ completely restrained. Funny, how this incident came to mind while trying to prepare my first outline for NaNoWriMo.

Thanks to the wonderful commenters on my previous post and their words of wisdom, I realized an outline didn’t have to mirror my nightmarish high school outlines. It’s my outline, I could do whatever I want and what I wanted was to toss is out the window. This time suck had seized all of my NaNoWriMo excitement and left me spent. So, I tossed it and a funny thing happened, the next day my story began to play out in my mind.

Then the epiphany, an outline should spark my creativity, not stifle it. Trying to developing the perfect outline had made me so stressed, I couldn’t think. This is when I began to look at outlining in a different light. I could use my favorite colored post-its and my florescent index cards and have some fun. After all, isn’t NaNoWriMo supposed to be fun? Now, days before the start of NaNoWriMo, I can breathe again and enjoy watching my story play out in beautiful colors.


Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

7 thoughts on “Out With The Outline

  1. Yeah! I love colourful post-it notes. This is one of the most important parts of writing; what works for one person won’t solve another’s dilemma.

    So glad you are feeling inspired, whoo-hoo!! 🙂


    • There was something about the fluorescent post-it, index cards and highlighters that both inspired and excited me. I’m ready for NaNo ~ I wish I could say the same about my elbow. 🙂 I hope yours is doing ok.


      • What did you do to your elbow?

        I probably will be cutting back on blogging at my website, increasing the blogging for the individual books themselves. Sometimes all I note is the word count, others I go off on whatever tangent that day’s writing sparked. Which of course is fed by colourful notes and pens. 🙂


      • Anna, I have tendonitis in my elbow that started during my first NaNoWriMo in 2010. I thought you had tendonitis as well, but maybe it’s carpal tunnel.


  2. Colorful post-it notes are so fun! I used to outline the same way for every story but it got old after awhile. It stifled my creativity, like you said. I think you’ve inspired me to try something different with my new WIP. Thanks! And good luck with NaNo.


    • I see your smiling face on many of the blogs I visit, Cindy ~ it’s great to see you here! Thanks for the NaNo well wishes, I’m excited again. 🙂 Good luck with your new WIP! Thank you for stopping by.


  3. Glad you had a turn-around with the outline! I did all my outlining on my laptop but post-its and physical planning sounds like a lot more fun, I’ll have to do it that way next time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s