Why haven’t you started that novel yet? I’m going to make a leap of faith here and say the reason you are reading this blog is because you want to be a writer, and believe you can be a writer. I believe you can be a writer. So let’s talk about why you haven’t started your story. It really isn’t the fear of starting, but plainly, the fear of negative critical reaction when your work is finished.

Find the courage to start writing your novel, however you have to do it, find it and don’t look back. Write the book you’ve been thinking about. I know you have a thousand concerns; “what if’s…” What if my novel is poorly written? What if no one likes it? What if it doesn’t sell? But, what if you are the next Stephen King? Or JK Rowling? Or any other New York Times Bestseller? The only, and I mean the only question that matters to you is: “what if I never start?” If you never start, you can forget about every other “what if” question that has come between you and writing your book. If you don’t start, you will not finish. How many people can say, “You know what? I’ve written and published a book!” Trust yourself. And trust your novel.

Take a deep breath and prepare yourself to be a writer. 

  • That means first and foremost, you are a reader.

  • That you know the genre you’ve selected for your novel and you have somewhat studied it.

  • That you understand some level of talent is required. Not special talent. The talent any reasonably intelligent and creative person already possesses; like you! Keep this Stephen King quote in mind; “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.“ In the end, it’s going to be your commitment, dedication, and love of writing that will set you apart from the millions who never start and never finish a novel.

  • That you are instilled with a strong self-belief, courage, motivation, determination, and two-inch thick rhino skin.

  • That you have knowledge of your subject matter (or, and this is key, you can learn it).

  • That you are somewhat knowledgeable in the craft of writing. Learning the rules of writing isn’t enough. You need to become very good at your craft, just like every other successful novelist. If you don’t know the rules, you won’t be able to break them later – and doing that, is the key to truly mastering your craft. Where do you get this knowledge? It’s not in any single book. It’s in every book ever published. The more you read, the more what you read translates to how you write. Then, practice, practice, practice.

  • And finally, that you are preparing yourself to be a writer means you understand how long it will take to write your novel. It depends on your writing style (i.e., fast and furious or slow and steady), whether you’ll be able to write every day, how much description you will include, and whether your novel will be long and complicated like War and Peace, or short and easy like Love Story. A typical novel is between 80K and 100K words, but can be as few as 40K or as much as 250K. It doesn't really matter but if that scares you, look at it this way. Write a thousand words a day and you will finish your first draft in 3 months.

Now, get out there, pick up your pencil, and write that book. You can do it. There is a whole group here of remarkably talented writers who can answer any questions you may have. 

Why Haven’t you Started That Novel Yet?

About Writing     |     The Hollow Man Series, International Espionage

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