3 Reasons Writers Aren't Taking Their Novel Writing Projects Seriously

3 Reasons Writers Aren’t Taking Their Novel Writing Projects Seriously

3 Reasons Writers Aren't Taking Their Novel Writing Projects Seriously
Photo by Conger Design / via Pixabay

3 Reasons Writers Aren't Taking Their Novel Writing Projects Seriously

Not enthusiastic about your current work-in-progress? Have you ever set aside novel writing projects because they bored you to tears?

Writing a novel is a long-term project and a huge commitment. Not only do we spend countless hours writing the thing, but we also spend more hours editing it and then marketing it.

With all of the time it takes to produce a publishable manuscript, we have to love it. If we’re not in it for the long haul, all of our work and efforts will be for nothing. We’ll give up and set it aside. Some writers even quit writing altogether.

So, what can we do to make sure we’re working on writing projects we love?

We can do it by avoiding these reasons for why writers aren't taking their novel writing projects seriously…

1. Writing for the market.

There’s nothing wrong with writing for the market, per se, but attempting to write a novel simply because we think it will be a best seller could be a recipe for disaster. If it’s not an idea that we’re excited about, it’s not going to have the emotional impact it needs to get readers invested.

2. Not knowing the story.

Blind writing, or writing by the seat of our pants, can get boring, especially if we haven’t taken the time to think about the story’s basic plot structure. Some stories can be written this way. But many writers falter after the big hurrah in the beginning, after the excitement of starting a new story has died down. They get stuck and don’t know where to take the story. Or they have an idea of the ending, but they don’t know what goes in the middle.

When we know the story, which means we’ve worked out the plot details, developed the characters, and added motivations, conflict, and tension, we give the writing a chance to flow naturally. And it helps keep us from getting stuck.

3. Writing someone else’s idea.

I’m sure most writers have received unsolicited input on what they should write next. Maybe it’s even an idea that has market potential. But unless the story excites us, there’s a good chance we’ll get bored. If we’re using an idea simply to appease a friend or family member, even when we think it’s a good one, the story will likely fall flat. It needs to be an idea that we feel passionately about. If all we think is “yeah, that’ll work,” we need to reassess our idea.

Writing a story we fall in love with (and stay in love with) will help us see it through to publication. It really comes down to this: write the story that wants to be written. Some stories aren’t ready yet; they simply need more time. And sometimes they need us, as writers, to get to a certain emotional level or point in our lives. If a story isn’t coming along, even after you’ve brainstormed the details, try something new. What’s moving you? What story is tugging at your mind or heart and trying to get attention?

The reasons behind why we write a particular story will be the reasons that either carry it through to the end or let it fall flat. Choose to write a story that excites you so the process can be fun.

Jody Calkins
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