Writing Your First Novel

Have you ever wandered what it’s like to write a book? How long it takes, how fun it is, how hard it is, how possible it is when you’re working full-time?

A little background. I’m a writer in Chicago with a full-time job that has nothing to do with writing. While this is my first novel, I am a published author, an award-winning screenwriter, and an editor, with a Master’s of Fine Arts in writing fiction. But you don’t need previous publications or a writing degree to write your first novel.

Those things certainly help, and I wouldn’t be half the writer I am today without my graduate school experience. But your education isn’t the most important thing when it comes to writing your novel.

The most important thing is this: that you write it.

That sounds trite and obvious, but what I mean is that the most important part about being a writer, the main thing that separates published authors from hobbyists, is that published authors actually take the time and the energy to execute their ideas to completion.

Does talent matter? Absolutely. But it is only part of the process. The willpower to write your novel, from beginning to end, is the part you have complete control over. And if you have the desire, and the discipline to write an entire novel, odds are, you are talented enough to get published.

Look at it this way. There are roughly one million new book authors being published every year. I think that bears repeating. One million. Every year. Out of those books, how many do you think are great?

If you read a lot, as most writers do, you’ll find that there are a lot of “bad” books out there. And a lot of mediocre ones, too. So why did all those “bad” authors get published?

Because they finished their books. No matter how talented you are, no matter how much better you can write than all those “bad authors”, they got published because they made the time and they found the energy to actually write an entire novel.

Hopefully, my experience writing my first novel will show you that it’s possible, even with a full-time job, to write your own book. And that it doesn’t have to take forever, either.

Check back when you can, and I’ll post updates on my progress, along with some insights and advice. Wish me luck!

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