How many of us have – upon announcing to people that we are a writer – heard a response along the lines of I always wanted to write a book or I have a great idea for a book or Someday I’ll write a book when I have the time? Everyone and his cousin Ted believes they have a novel in them. Statistics say the books tend to stay ‘inside’ them. There are a lot of good reasons for that. Writing is hard. It is time consuming.It has far more frustrations than rewards. Writing requires individual passion for the art and a willingness to overlook the worst aspect of it. The thing that prevents all those wannabe’s from becoming actual writers.
Rejection. It’s a bit like being Prometheus. (If you remember your mythology) Each day we face rejection (the eagle eating our livers) and lest we forget how awful that is, the liver grows back so it can happen again and again and again. You get the idea. For anyone who wants to get off the Prometheus treadmill. Here is how NOT to write a novel.
1. Work a job with long hours, and a lot of overtime. Money is always a good excuse, right? Never enough of it. Never too much.
2. Marry – a spouse is a real time killer. Both sexes. Doesn’t matter. We’re all needy.
3. Children – have a lot of them. They suck up your life better than a Craftsman shop vac. The guilt alone will keep you from your writing desk. I haven’t spent enough time with child 1 or more time with child 6 than child 5!
4. Talk shows – they are newsworthy and educational. What’s not to love. Come on. You need the information the ladies on The View disburse faster than birth control in a high school bathroom.
5. Spend hours on Facebook, spying on former classmates, family members, and if you’re really desperate, strangers.
6. Read craft books. Model car building, scrap booking, even cooking can keep you busy away from your Work Never In Progress (WNIP)
7. Buy books, lots of books. Having an impressive library is good for every author. No one cares whether you’ve read them.
8. Focus on improving your gaming abilities, attain your goal of becoming the king of Spider Solitaire. This requires at least several hours a day devoted to playing it.
9. Text. All the time. Everyone you can think of. Talk to them about your WNIP. Talking about a book is an excellent way to never write one. Talk, talk, talk doesn’t produce anything.
10. Never, and I mean never sit down at your computer with Word open. The temptation to actually work on that novel might be too great. If you’re at the computer, make sure you’re working on # 8.
However, if you actually WANT to write a novel, not just talk about it, check out my critique partner’s post on How to Write a Novel at Writes by Moonlight.
And definitely, ignore number 10. 🙂