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A Serial Killer is Going To Make This Year A Fantastic Year

writing a novel

Don’t get me wrong. I have been writing a novel, and I have been doing it for more than a year. I’m sort of finished with the creative part, and with the actual writing, but it might take me several more months or years to get it published. I really don’t know. Things are happening, and I’m finished with my third draft, and I have received some awesome feedback from a publisher, but I still feel that I have no idea what I’m doing in this industry.

But, it really doesn’t matter how long it takes.

I love to write, and that’s the reason why I am doing it. I’m not doing it because I have had a dream about writing a book, or because I want to become a famous author. It’s all about the words, and because I get inspired to write more, I want to keep writing. And, of course, it’s about the feedback as well. I love to share what I know, and some of the things that are going on inside my head, and I really enjoy that people share their thoughts on what they have just been reading.

And now it’s my turn to share the process of writing, and how I do what I do. And I believe that you can learn a thing or two from it.

How do I get inspired?

A lot of people ask me this question, almost on a daily basis. I know exactly what I do to get inspired, but to be honest with you, inspiration just shows up when I least expects it.

I have made a short video on how I got started writing my novel. And that shows you exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to inspiration. I’ll explain the video, mostly because I’m Norwegian and you might not understand my weird accent.

The process of writing. 3 steps.

In order to write, and keep writing, there are three steps I go through. This is a process and I believe that it probably can be added to any type of job or workflow. And when I started to realize how it all worked out, it was so much easier to keep going and producing whatever I felt like creating.

I’ll explain it in a second, but this is the process:

First. I needed to make a decision.

I decided that I wanted to write a novel. That was it. I didn’t decide on the content of the novel, but I decided that I was going to finish the first draft within a specific date. I believe it was in 8 months. No matter what happened, I was going to finish the first draft in 8 months.

I make decisions like this all the time, no matter if it’s a blog post, writing an ebook or creating a project for a client.

Second. I needed inspiration.

I didn’t have any content. I didn’t force a story. I wanted to discover something I really wanted to write. And I had a lot of different ideas. But, I always do one thing when I need to come up with ideas, and that’s to go for a walk.

I’m always a lot more creative when I’m out walking. But, I’m not going to go for the first ideas that appears. I keep walking. Don’t get me wrong, I take breaks, and I do a lot of other things as well, but I keep walking every single day in order to get the right ideas. The ideas I’m looking for might not appear the first couple of days, and it might not appear during the first week, or the second week, or even the first month. But, I keep walking to find inspiration.

It works.

Take a look at this video. I’ll explain how I discovered the plot for my first novel.

I promised you an explanation to the video, due to my weird accent, and here it comes. I was walking to work one day, and I always walk through the woods. It was fairly dark, and I have to admit that it was a little scary. I’m always completely alone in the woods at 6.30 am, and while I was going to cross a bridge, I looked inside and I thought that I could see something shiny on a tree, about thirty feet from the path. I decided that I wanted to walk closer to see what it was, and as I did, I discovered that somebody had painted a red cross on the tree.

While I was standing next to the tree, looking at the sign, I was asking myself the question, why someone would paint a red cross on a tree? I kept finding some interesting answers, and then, before I managed to cross the bridge, the questions had evolved into a story about a serial killer, killing people and covering their bodies with paint. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The colors of the rainbow.

You can probably say that finding the red cross on the tree was a coincidence, but I had been walking for a very long time, and I have been looking for inspiration wherever I could find it. And it was just a matter of time. If I wouldn’t have discovered the red cross, I would have discovered something else that would have turned questions into a story.

Third. I needed motivation.

I started writing, and I decided that I was going to tell people about what I was doing. I wasn’t going to keep it a secret. And the more people I told, the more people started asking and they became supporters. They told me that they really believed in what I was doing, and that they were going to buy the novel, and they kept discussing the process of writing a novel whenever I talked to them.

Writing is a lonely process. Sometimes I just sit and stare at the computer screen for hours without talking to a single person. I’m not talking about two or three hours, it’s more like seven or eight hours. And without any positive feedback, or any people contacting me and asking me questions about the story, and what it’s like to write a novel, and how on earth can I write about a serial killer, it’s a lot harder to write, a lot harder than it already is.

So, instead of just keeping my mouth shut, I look for people to talk to. I ask them for feedback, and I tell them that I want to talk about writing a novel. And I do my best to smile whenever they give me a compliment. This way they won’t stop giving them to me. I need every compliment, I really do. Writing a novel takes a long time, and it’s a lonely process. But I love every single minute of it, and no matter how long it takes to get it published, I can promise you one thing; this is only the beginning.

 



58 responses to “A Serial Killer is Going To Make This Year A Fantastic Year”

  1. Brock Blohm says:

    lol Great title.

    Glad to hear you are working on something big. That’s exciting. Follow your true passion. If writing a novel is your true passion – then do it! Absolutely!

    Keep it up!

  2. Hajra says:

    Hey Jens,

    First, how do you get to work in the weather? I would be all in, rolled up under the blanket with a jar of coffee! Also, you don’t have a weird accent, stop saying that. It is absolutely clear and fine!

    We all have various inspiring moments but we miss the signs. I am glad you found yours!

    I missed your last post… will check that soon! 🙂

    • It’s actually a lot easier to work when it’s cold. It’s not much to do. I would have a hard time if I was living where Bill lives (Florida). I would just be at the beach all day, and probably wouldn’t do anything but swim, get a tan, and eat pizza all day long 🙂

      I’m so glad that I didn’t miss this sign, because if I did, the novel would have been completely different 🙂

  3. Adrienne says:

    OMG Jens, that looks so darn cold. You walk that way everyday to work? What beautiful scenery you have so I can see why you’d want to walk. Being that cold though, no way for me. I hate cold weather.

    I love how you broke this down for us. I can see where you could get your ideas now and how the imagination could just start flowing. I think that if I wrote a few lines or even paragraphs or pages then that would be enough to motivate me. But being held accountable is a good thing too.

    I’m so excited for you and I have no doubt everything will flow like it should.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Stay warm! Loved the video too!

    ~Adrienne

    • It was cold, it was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit 🙂

      I walk every day, no matter how cold it is, and the colder it gets the more beautiful it is. But, I usually don’t create videos using my iPhone when it’s that cold. I did it this once, but it’s going to be a while until I do it again 🙂

  4. Ruth Zive says:

    Jens – I LOVE your accent! It’s so great to see you on video. And Norway looks just like Toronto right now – wish I could show you a picture of my backyard. I might have to instagram it – you would feel right at home here!

    • I’m so glad that you love my accent, because I really don’t.. it’s like what you said about your video, and then some 🙂

      Your video was awesome. I need a little practice, and this is the way I’m going to get it. I just don’t feel like being in front of the camera.

      I’ve been to Canada several times, but never to Toronto. Is it snow there right now?

  5. Bill Dorman says:

    Uh yes, that looks pretty cold, but kind of neat. If it was dark when you were walking thru there and you are formulating a serial killer novel, it might cause you to pick up the pace……:).

    And what in the heck did you call yourself? Jens w/ a J but I’m pretty sure you said something else. You crazy Euros…….:).

    That was cool my friend; I enjoyed it….I’m inspired now.

    • I have to admit that I was a little scared. I didn’t want to think about the serial killer, it was just something that I happened to think about 🙂

      Yes, it’s Jens with a J. But it sounds different when I say it in Norwegian, and that’s what I did. You should try to pronounce Berget (my last name), I’ll give you a hint on how in the next video.

  6. Carolyn says:

    Jens, you can’t make us all learn Norwegian! Just stick the novel in Google Translate and sell us what comes out of it.

    Beautiful path. I can see why you walk. My mind works that way too for inspiration. The movie The Village was all about red crosses on trees in the woods (no serial killers though). It’s fiction, but it was filmed in the town where I live now. I saw the movie right before I moved here and I have to say it creeped me out a bit, even though there are no serial killers in the movie.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Jens!

    • I don’t need to make you all learn Norwegian, I’ll be more than happy if you’ll learn it 🙂

      I have watched the movie The Village, but it’s a long time ago. And maybe that was what I was thinking of when I saw the red cross. I knew that it was something familiar, but I just couldn’t remember what it was. Anyway, my thoughts entered a completely different world, and I’m not sure if the result is anything to talk about, but I had a very good time writing the novel 🙂

  7. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Jens,

    Super similar experience here.

    When I pull back, I become inspired with ease. I take walks, I exercise, I meditate. My Eureka moments hit when I am detached from any outcome, when I am being, when I am present.

    When we work, tension tends to build. When we pull back, tension dissolves, we relax, and inspiration flows in, in boatloads 😉

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

    • That’s really interesting Ryan. I’m usually so focused when I work, and that’s probably why I can’t think outside the box or be creative. I’m just focusing on how to solve the task at hand. But when I’m out walking, it’s a completely different perspective and it’s like I’m entering a different world 🙂

  8. It looks sooooooo cold there Jens!

    I too wonder just as so many others here- as to how do you maanage to write in such cold a weather!! Don’t your hands freeze!!! And to sit in the cold and think about what to write!!

    I do remember you had long back also commented some place that its pretty cold at your end, but I never imagined it to be this cold!

    I liked the way you started your novel and the red cross seems to be the perfect place to start with a plot of a serial killer. However, I do agree with you that writing is much harder than what it seems. There are indeed hours or days of nothing productive- I guess not exactly a writer’s block – but more of getting into the right frame of mind or the mood to sit and continue with your story or novel.

    I do know you love walking just as I do, but the major difference is the snow – which we don’t have at our end. I guess you find your inspirational ideas while walking.

    Wishing you all the very best with your novel, which is indeed something everybody is looking forward to read. 🙂

    • Hi Harleena,

      Yes, it’s very cold, but I usually do all my writing inside, so I don’t freeze when I write. But walking outside in the cold weather is just awesome. I love to see snow everywhere, and it’s not bad if I have enough clothes on.

      The red cross reminded me of something, but I just couldn’t figure out what it was. And then I started thinking about a tattoo, and then something completely different (the Red Cross organization) and finally, I ended up thinking about a serial killer. I always get so many ideas when I’m out walking, that’s why I always keep Evernote ready on my iPhone. I want to keep notes of all my thoughts. And this time I even created a video 🙂

  9. Jack says:

    Hi Jens,

    It was fun getting to hear your voice and see your walk. It wasn’t hard at all to understand you. I probably shouldn’t tell you that I walk around in shorts and a t-shirt.

    It got pretty cold for us today, dropped to about 52F. 😀

    I know what you mean about writing being lonely. There have been more than a few times where I have waited for my characters to speak to me and have marveled at just how quiet it was.

    But ultimately when you love it, well it sustains your effort and fuels your fire.

    • Hi Jack,

      I wasn’t really sure about publishing the video, because I’m not really comfortable behind the camera yet, and especially since I’m not quite satisfied with my English accent 🙂

      So, you keep walking in shorts and a t-shirt. I’ve been hearing that way too often from Bill, and now you too 🙂 Where do you live?

      I use shorts and t-shirts as well, but mostly inside. I’ll have to wait until April to be wearing it outside.

  10. mrvoltas says:

    The website/blog is awsm.Just thinking that if all could have same type of author or content then internet would be so much better place to live!

  11. Ashvini says:

    Jens,

    Nice start. A red cross on the tree. It was great to see you as well. Where is your place? I have been to Scandinavia but did not see ice ;)( It was summertime). But yeah I can imagine so much cold. Fortunately I went back when before I could not take it .
    All the best for your novel. Keep writing and hope it becomes a bestseller 🙂

    • Hey Ashvini,

      I live in Norway, in a small town called Halden. It’s very close to the border of Sweden. It’s in the south-east of Norway. If you don’t like snow, and cold weather, you should definitively not come here during the winter 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your support. I doubt that it will be a best seller, but I had a lot of fun writing it 🙂

  12. Sergio Felix says:

    Hey Jens,

    WOW man, that surely looks cold as hell and if it is cold for you that you’re used to that weather, I really can’t imagine how would that feel for me.

    I would be VERY scared in that place if it was dark, heck, it even looked scary as it was right there! haha

    Anyway, I can see why you have such a great imagination although I don’t think I would be thinking of serial killers if I was alone in that place, I think I’d run LOL

    Loved your video mate, keep it up! 🙂

    Sergio

    • Jens P. Berget says:

      You’re right. It was cold, and it still is. I don’t want to think about where you live, because you’re probably wearing shorts every single day 🙂

      But that’s the thing, if you live in a place like this, you’re forced to work and be creative, because there’s not much else to do 🙂

  13. Nicholle Olores says:

    Yay Jens! You always inspired me in any areas of my life. Making the right decision, having an inspiration and great motivation are all we need, probably we all need it.

  14. Mark says:

    Nice Video Jens, it’s cool to put a voice to a face.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of them!

    Burrrr….

    • I wasn’t sure if I was going to publish the video. I’m not really comfortable in front of the camera, but I thought why not.. 🙂

      I need a new phone, as soon as I get a iPhone 4S, I’ll be doing a lot more videos. And it’s just as cold as it looks 🙂

  15. John says:

    Loved the title, Jens… I’m a huge fan of Thriller/Suspense novels. I’m a huge fan of Dexter (TV series)too.
    Hopefully, I would get a copy of your book for free 😛 ..haha just kidding.
    I’m sure you would post the Amazon link of your book once it is published…will definitely purchase it coz I love your style of writing!
    Looking forward to your Dexter-like book 😀

    Cheers…

  16. Becca says:

    Although i’m a bit late to leave a comment here. Jen! you inspire me again to continue and improve my writing skills. thanks for always sharing your knowledge
    to us.
    Keep it up!

  17. Srini says:

    Hi Jen,

    I know I am late to the party but here are my two cents –

    1. Getting published has very less to do with the actual writing.
    2. Publishing is all about marketing your stuff.
    3. Your audience is small – make it large with English translation.
    4. Let your audience critique your writing – you have a great platform here.
    5. Sometimes it’s difficult to criticize your own writing – it’s your baby after all.
    6. What’s your genre?

    Best wishes
    Go on – get published

    Srini

  18. Rose says:

    I love writing too. But mine is informal. I want to learn how to write properly, I mean the correct term. Anyway, can I get it for free too? You don’t need to write it on my language 😀 haha!

  19. Beth says:

    I guess the toughest part in every task is the motivation. It’s pretty difficult to find motivation as you take another step in completing your goal. So it is important to stick or to find motivation from time to time.

    • Yes, motivation is sometimes the inspiration and the whole reason for your goals. To me, motivation is the clue to almost everything I do 🙂

      • Beth says:

        Yes, same here. Motivation gives me that spirit to continue achieving my goal. As like what I’ve said, this is important especially if I find myself at lost.

  20. Linda says:

    Hi Jens,

    This is my first time to your blog – found you through Sergio Felix’s blog.

    Since I don’t know much about you, yet – where do you work and that cross would have definitely sparked interest with me too.

    It sounds so exciting that you are writing your first novel. I have always thought about it and actually tried a few times, but I didn’t get very far..lol.

    Now, I just stick to eBooks and write about what I know so I can teach others how to do different things.

    Your story inspired me and I am really happy that you have stopped sitting there and not talking to anyone for hours – so many people have wonderful ideas and are good listeners and that is what is so great about the Internet and blogging. You can build lasting relationships even through a blog and encouragement usually follows.

    I wish you the absolute BEST OF LUCK with your book and I am certain it is going to be a BEST SELLER!

    Linda

    • Hi Linda,

      Sergio is awesome, I’m so glad that you’re reading his blog.

      I decided to just write a novel, and that’s what I did. I had noe clue what to write about, but I was going to finish it no matter what. And I’m on my third draft right now.

      I work at a University in Norway, but from 1. April, I’ll be starting my own marketing consulting business 🙂

      Thanks a lot for all your kind words. I hope you’ll continue writing your novel, because it’s a lot of fun, and the more you write the more fun it will become 🙂

  21. Jeevanjacobjohn says:

    Hey Jens.

    First off, thanks for sharing your experience with us 🙂

    I am glad that you are passionate about writing (best of luck with your novel :D).

    Yes, for a writer, all these steps that you mentioned are important. As far as the first step goes, we need to make the decision and decide to stick with it, no matter what (work hard to achieve your goal while at the same time being smart enough to distribute your efforts over time – to pace yourself).

    2nd. Inspiration. Often times, it is just weird where we get our inspiration from. I have got writing ideas from TV shows/ads that I watched, just by thinking about it or by connecting two different things (like you did you in your latest post about first impression).

    3rd. Motivation. Yes, we really need to find a strong primary motivator along with secondary motivators to back it up. For me, I blog because I want to provide value to my readers (primary motivator). My secondary motivator is basically blogging for the fun/satisfaction I get from it.

    Yes, it is also important to talk to people (What I do is just talk to myself when I can’t really find anyone to talk to – And that has helped me a lot – with writing ideas, inspiration and even certain small things I can do to improve my writing.

    Anyways, thanks for the awesome post (and sorry for making the comment all about me and my experience – I hope you don’t mind :D).

    Jeevan Jacob John

    • I don’t mind at all. I find it way more useful to read the experiences of others 🙂

      I don’t talk to myself that often, but it happens. But never out loud. I do a lot of things inside myself, I talk, I sing, I dance. And sometimes I even get inspiration from myself. I’m not sure how it happens, but it happens once in a while.

      Thanks a lot for your awesome comment.

  22. Andrea from Best Hand Truck says:

    Yeah, you probably getting good result Jens:D Your work is very impressive.Aside from that you responded easily.

  23. Shine says:

    You are a writer Jen. You have the passion for it. I’m sure you will be writing more in the future and you’ll be successful.

  24. Andrei says:

    Jen’s are you working in some outsourcing site?You are very gifted creature.I hope i can also learn proper way of writing articles.

  25. Jenny Jones says:

    You can just follow KISS or Keep it short and simple.

  26. Angelo Michan says:

    Writing articles is quiet hard job.You need to have passion on that area.

  27. Andrew says:

    when i first read the title i was very shocked but now i see it is a novel and that sounds very interesting, i hope to see it on the shelf at a store soon.

  28. Stacy says:

    Hi Jens,

    Congratulations on your book! How is it coming along now? Adrienne Smith told me that you are writing a novel too so I am curious to see how it is going for you. I’m writing my first novel now and am planning on self publishing it later this year. I am still working on the first draft so it will be a while!

    Nice to connect with you!
    Stacy

    • Hi Stacy,

      I’m almost finished with a short story in English and I’ll try to publish it on the Kindle at the end of next week. It will be my first published story.

      My novel is almost finished as well, but I’ll probably need a month to finish it. I’ll be self publishing it on iBooks (the novel is in Norwegian).

      I’d love to read more about your novel, what is it about?

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