Writing a book isn’t easy.

Book collection
Image by Ian Wilson via Flickr

You may be looking at the title of this post and be thinking, “Well, I could have told you that.” I mean, newsflash, the last time anyone thought writing a book would be easy was in third grade.

What I mean by “Writing a book isn’t easy” isn’t that it takes a lot of hard work, passion, and countless hours of red eyes. Those things are certainly true, but what I’m really saying is “I have a real hard time writing a book.”

I never thought that would be the case, and until some self-reflection in the past few days, I wouldn’t have admitted it. Why not admit the problem?

  • I have a lot of great book ideas. A LOT!
  • I even start writing at least half of those book ideas.
  • I write several thousand words a day, for a living.
  • I’ve completed the NaNoWriMo challenge in less than 15 days. And it wasn’t trash.

You think that would put me off on the right foot for writing a novel. Here’s what those bullet points don’t tell you: of all the novels and books I’ve started, less than 10% have made it past 5,000 words. Of the 7 years I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, I only completed the challenge once.

I could run a business starting novels for other people to finish. You’d think I have a fear of commitment, as if these novels are going to propose marriage to me! It’s particularly frustrating right now because I set out with a promise to write a certain book of mine two months ago, and I haven’t even opened the file it’s saved in yet.

Why is it that I have such a road block to writing books? I’m not entirely sure, but my theory is two-fold.

The first part of it is that I have too many ideas and not enough time to write them all. I’m serious; my desk is cluttered with pieces and scraps of paper with ideas for things I can write. And all of that is just stuff for work.

The second part of my theory is that I am, in fact, afraid of rejection at the publishing level. I’m hyper-critical of myself, and my thoughts often drift to “How am I going to publish this?” I mull over my publishing options, mull over having to suffer rejections, mull over the idea of “who’d want to publish this anyway” – and that may contribute to me giving up.

Thankfully, I’m surrounded by amazing people, many of them writers, who believe in me, motivate me, and cheer me on. In the meantime, if anyone knows a prescription for making sure I actually write this thing, let me know.

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4 Responses to Writing a book isn’t easy.

  1. I have a similar problem *lol* Right now, I don’t have a lot of book ideas because I’m always thinking about articles and it is astonishing how much time that takes up.

    But I do have a “novel”. It’s not the best and I am almost positive that if it even made it into print, reviewers would crush it. Almost makes me feel bad for criticising others *lol*

    I would love to read any book of yours though, I am quite sure it would be incredible.

    P.S If you wanna throw any of your unfinished ideas at me, I’ll be happy to try and finish one! :p

  2. I totally understand this one, I also have so many ideas and so many started and fear that no one would buy it or want to publish it. I think you are an amazing writer and I know that you will finish one and it will be a #1 hit!

  3. Sara Broers says:

    It’s all about the ideas~ they swirl around in our minds~ but, to actually write it down. Now, that’s another story. Set your goals high. If you’ve got a start, someday you will continue on. You will know when the time is right. Fear can also stand in the way~ gotta erase that thought! Good Luck to you- nice post! You WILL write a top selling book and I can say that I knew you way back when!

  4. Heartigan says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I actually talked about it with my psychiatrist which helped a lot. And now, finally, my first novel to get finished is well under way. At least that’s how it feels 🙂


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