Why is Writing a Novel So Damn Hard?

writing a novel


Writing a novel is so damn hard.

I have always been fascinated at people who can take the time and commitment to craft hundreds and hundreds of pages of a tale. To be that disciplined is a feat. Or crazy.

Many people try and fail at it.

There are the ones who try to make it work. They even participate in a writing contest for a month, hoping that this will be the time they craft that great story people will be talking about for ages. Yet halfway in, life happens and they abandon it.

They try to crank it out quickly.

While monthly writing contests can be helpful to get you into a writing habit, trying to create a novel should mean you’re already disciplined enough to work on it for a month. Most jump in and try to write so many words a day. Sometimes they sacrifice food and sleep to churn out a bunch of words a day, or else they feel like it wasn’t worth it.

But they crash and burn and give up.

If they felt they didn’t write enough words, they feel like they have to add on for the next day. It becomes an avalanche of trying to keep up. Then they go from excitement to frustration, and set it aside to collect virtual dust.

I’m trying to write a novel.

Why am I writing this depressing story? Because it’s happened to me. I have not one, but two novels that I started working on at a breakneck pace, then stopped because I felt like I couldn’t keep up with writing. They’re still there, waiting for my fingers to bring them to life.

It is pretty damn hard.

I’m not gonna lie. If you think you have a great story, be prepared to take a long time to write it, especially if you’ve never written anything before. You will get stuck. You will critique yourself. You will have tons of fear. Life will happen.

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How do you get over it?

Even with all these setbacks that will happen (trust me), you can write a novel. One that you can be proud of. You can submit it to publications, and it can even get printed for the world to enjoy. What you have to do is remember this: it’s a marathon, not a race.

Take small steps.

Instead of trying to write as much of the story as possible, I break up my novel into steps. First, I write down all of the characters. I then write down as much of their personality as I can to frame how they would respond to a situation. Then I can outline each chapter, writing down what will happen. I now have a synopsis for my book, and it makes it easier to write dialogue and scenes.

You don’t need to write a novel as fast as possible.

That’s the beauty of this process. It’s a plan. You now have this awesome blueprint to use for your novel. Now, you can take your time and really craft it. You’re not blindly writing a novel anymore.

All you need to do now is finish.

Those doubts and fears will still be there. You can push them aside easier because you have an outline to work with. So just write your novel. Editing always comes next.

Don’t give up on creating your novel.

Make a plan for your novel, then write it. You know what each chapter is about. All you need to do is fill in the gaps. The satisfying part of a marathon is finishing. It can take many hours, even days, for people to finish a race. But to cross that finish line is worth it.

Just finish it.

We need your voice. We need to see your story. Don’t deny the world what you have in your brain. It just makes it easier for you to share it with us.


Are you creating a novel right now? What are some things you’re learning in the process? Leave a comment below, and share with your friends!

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