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Getting Ready to Write a Novel

Novel writing

by guest blogger, Robbi Hess - 30 minute Solopreneur

By this time next week I will be 5,001 words into my novel. How can I be this precise? Because every November I join the legions of writers who commit to writing an entire 50,000 word novel in a month. It’s called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I have “won” for the past five years.

"Winning" as a writer has a myriad of meanings, but in November winning means the writer has completed a novel. Will my novel be publishable when November 30 hits? No. Will I need to spend a month editing it? Yes. Have I accomplished something that many people say they want to do, but likely won’t? You bet.

Getting Ready To Write A Novel

I have heard from so many people that they “are going to write a novel.” When I ask, “Oh, what’s it going to be about?” They may give me a detailed synopsis or they may be vague because they simply haven’t thought it through and that’s okay. What does make me crazy when I ask “Have you started it?” And they rattle off a list of excuses like:

  1. I don’t have time

  2. I’ll write it when the kids are grown

  3. It won’t bring in any income and I have to focus on income-generating projects first

Guess what? These are all forms of procrastination. How do I know? Because I use many of those excuses myself. Well, not the “when the kids are grown” but I may soon have the “excuse” of having to watch my beautiful grandson BUT I won’t use him as an excuse to procrastinate what I really want to get done.

Novel writing robbi hess

Do I have time to write 1,667 words a day, every day, from November 1 to November 30? Honestly, I must because I have done it for the past five years. Is there a reason I don’t devote that much time to my fiction writing throughout the year? Yes, and that reason is: Procrastination.

Am I proud of the excuses I made for not having written? Do I love it when I look at my blog and see that I haven’t posted in a few months? No to both of these questions.

Maybe it’s the accountability of posting your word count in the NANOWRIMO website. Maybe it’s because I connect with other writers who are striving toward the finish line. Maybe it’s because I love the feeling of having written an entire damn novel in one month and not many people can say they’ve done that!

Perhaps I need an accountability partner throughout the other months of the year who can help me stay focused on my own writing, on my own blogging, on growing my own business. My client work never gets pushed to the back burner. I don’t make excuses to my clients about not completing their tasks — because I ALWAYS complete their tasks.

Why, then, don’t I honor my own blogging and writing more often? It’s a great question and one that I will ponder more deeply once my novel, “Tarot, Typewriters & A New Chapter” is finished on November 30.

What do you want to do that you put off? Why don’t you move that “want” forward? What’s stopping you? Lack of time? (I can help with that because we all have time to devote to passion projects if we put our mind to it). Lack of focus or direction? I can help with that, too.

Drop a comment below and let me know where you struggle. If you’re joining in NANOWRIMO this year, let me know that, too!


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