Want to Write A Novel? I did. Here’s What Happened!

Peggy Sealfon
5 min readOct 31, 2020
Here I am at my standing desk writing my debut novel

I didn’t know I had it in me to write fiction. I’ve always been a non-fiction writer of articles and books in my professional careers. I love the power of words and the act of wordsmithing to inform and inspire about real facts and situations. But suddenly in the middle of all the catastrophes of 2020, I discovered a fictional story bubbling out of my soul like a volcanic eruption.
I let it flow.

Let’s face it, this year has been full of surprises with the global pandemic spilling its life-changing influences into every part of our existence. My work transformed into virtual client sessions and online meetings. Fortunate at least to be living in Southwest Florida, I had outdoor outlets playing tennis and golf. That is until I slipped off boulders on a beach walk breaking my arm and needing to undergo surgery. (My Surprising Ordeal and What It Taught Me About Life)

My world stopped. I was homebound in pain. During the day, I was isolated and alone as Patrick, my life partner, continued working at a luxury golf course. I dropped out of life. I filled my time listening to healing music and meditating. And then it happened.

“Awakening, A novel” floated across my mind like a news chyron scrolling the bottom of a television screen. What did it mean? To be honest, a lifelong dream has always been to write a novel and there it was miraculously emerging. At first, my titanium-plated radius bone was making it difficult for my fingers to tap the computer keys. It hurt. But I persevered. I had no choice. I had to write what was unabashedly shooting out of me as if blasted
from a cannon.

The storyline was unformed. I had a basic premise: a 45-year-old divorced woman has a horrific motorcycle accident forcing her to reassess her life and question whether she’s wasted her years living all wrong. That was it. Very raw. I know many authors spend a great deal of time plotting their novels and spending months on character development and even years moving through the writing process. I didn’t.

Each morning, with my hot cup of black coffee, I’d get in front of my standing desk, plug my fingers into my keyboard to discover the next juicy twist or turn that would befall my characters. What pandemic? What political chaos? I escaped.

I disappeared into the writing, lost in the download. I had a rough feeling of where I wanted the story to go but I had no concept of how it would get there. Yet every day, an expressive flood of thoughts gushed from source. I knew I was merely the vehicle for an unseen magical muse or guardian to channel fascinating narratives. I stood by and watched in excited amazement and gleeful amusement.

Most recommendations to novelists include a warning never to go back and edit until the first draft is completed. But darn curiosity would get the best of me. Before writing each morning, I’d review the previous day’s pages. Perhaps my memory was waning, but I’d be gobsmacked by events and even the dialogue. I had no recollection of writing them but there they were, blinking on the screen. For me, the experience was akin to reading a great, page-turning novel when you just can’t wait to find out what happens next. Only I wasn’t passively reading, I was actively writing. Or was I? An odd feeling!

Each evening, Patrick voiced deep concern about my spending too much time by myself. But I never felt alone. I was with my characters who were going through unexpected adventures. I was with them in New York City, the South of France, London, and Miami. I was traveling.

I was mindfully present in only two specific areas. I intentionally infused my expertise in psychology as well as my extensive trainings as a personal development coach into various scenes. Plus, I capitalized on a few personal experiences to deliver bigger emotional charges.

The story begins with Robin Steven’s motorcycle accident. Admittedly, about 15 years ago, I broke my collarbone trying to avoid a security gate closing on my Harley-style 900cc Suzuki. Plus, I rode across North America twice on a Harley! So, there are a few parallels adding authenticity but mostly the story is a work of pure fiction. (Another fact is that I used to commute around New York City on a motorcycle and had repeated brushes with taxis and falling over potholes. But that’s quite another story!)

When I wrote the last line just a mere 10 weeks after beginning, I had chills spill through my spine which morphed into an overwhelming feeling of sadness. Post-partum depression after birth? My dream world had ended. I thoroughly enjoyed my characters and as abruptly as it all started, I would leave them. Yet I had learned a great deal.

In the process of writing, I had an epiphany about consciousness. Studying ancient wisdom teachings, I know we are spirit beings having a human experience. We are not our thoughts, our bodies, our jobs, our bank accounts, our illnesses. We are the observer, the witness, the consciousness. What I didn’t know is how consciousness can show up in a novel. Many writers set plots in the first person. I chose to use the convenience of a narrator. One day, I realized this disembodied raconteur knows what each character is feeling and experiencing, watching from a higher perspective. In a sense the storyteller’s voice is from an all-knowing being, the spirit consciousness.
A revelation!

In past MEDIUM articles, I’ve discussed the enormous cycles of change at this unique crossroads in our lifetime. I’ve mentioned the increase of vibrational frequencies that the earth and all its inhabitants are experiencing; a global awakening to new dimensions — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Thus, for me, writing this novel became a colossal awakening to access a more profound understanding of life and its marvelous expansiveness.

My ultimate intention is both to entertain and motivate the reader to embark consciously on a personal journey of awakening. It’s about turning lemons into lemon cake and enjoying life’s sweetness. It’s all there for the taking but may require a shift in perspective to “see” the bigger picture. As Jim Britt, renowned success strategist and one of Tony Robbins’ first coaches, wrote in a pre-publication review: “ A compelling psychological-spiritual story that subtly conveys the author’s extensive trainings with renowned masters in eastern and western traditions. This book inspires the reader to want to embrace a more positive mindset and through Robin’s painful journey learns how. A must read!

Awakening, A novel book cover

Awakening A novel will be released December 11th in paperback and eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Stonewater Studio Books. Please register to receive notice of publication and/or add your voice to the AWAKENING Facebook Group. Find all links at AwakeningAnovel.com.

My wish for you is to rise above the challenges of 2020 and seize your silver lining. Find your opportunities and connect to your muse. Think butterfly!



Peggy Sealfon

Personal Development Coach, Author, Speaker. Internationally-recognized expert on reducing stress and anxiety. Inspires and motivates. PeggySealfon.com