Focus On The Long Haul

We live in a microwave society. If you want something you can have it now. Right now.

We sit down to write a novel and after the first page or maybe the first sentence we get stumped. We had this grand idea and suddenly it evaporates before our eyes. We’re left with drivel. And writers hate drivel. We scrapped the idea whip up a fresh one and start anew.

This idea turns out the same as the last. It is garbage. Pure garbage! It is then we get mad. Our novel isn’t good. We wasted our time and soon decide we’re not cut out for it. So we start a different dream. We’re going to open a bakery!

MicrowaveBut we need to focus as amateur writers on the long haul. We need to focus on the slow plod step by step. Writing a novel and becoming a novelist does not happen overnight. It doesn’t happen in a day. Or a month. Or year. Or two years.

But what happens over those days, months, and years if you stay faithful to the path? You become better.  You find one sentence you can love. And a page! And 90 pages!!

And soon a few years down the road we have a novel.

If you’re frustrated today and your idea is just not working out. If you’ve been haunted by that same sentence for the last month. Keep things in perspective. As a novelist, we’re in for the long-haul. Not something quick and easy. We aren’t making this out of a box. We’re growing our own vegetables. Creating our own recipes. This is going to take some time. Let’s just hope we have the gumption to continue on. Because in the end that’s what matters.

If you’ve taken your eyes off the prize of finishing your novel, keep going. Understand this isn’t happening in a second. Understand we are going to have to reference books and reread the things and take classes and edit our work countless times.

Writer, I hope you can find some encouragement in this. Good novels do not happen overnight. If you’re still working on yours and it’s been over a day, perhaps yours will turn out to be a great one – if you keep at it.

Keep writing and take advantage of your weekend. Elbow out some time to write!



9 thoughts on “Focus On The Long Haul

  1. “We’re growing our own vegetables. Creating our own recipes.” Love this Bob – and a bakery is sounding quite good right about now. I’ll take your advice though and keep hacking away!!

  2. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes it is just so easy to get caught up in the little sentences or even chapters that want to hold us back. The challenge is to keep moving, make the changes, be willing to scrap it and do it all again. I have never felt more like a writer than when I sat down late at night, not wanting to write, but I told myself that I had to type at least 500 words and then I wrote over 1,000. It follows my writing motto: “Butt in seat; words on page.”

    1. I agree. The times when we overcome ourselves and write through it, we feel great. There is no greater feeling for a writer! Your motto is very true.

      I hope you are getting closer to the goals for your book Nathan. Have your passed your book out lately?

  3. Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder that it should take lots of time to creat a masterpiece. If it could be created in a few days or months, then everyone would be doing it. I shelved my NaNoWriMo novel for a few weeks and it’s time to start editing. I have a handful of short stories I started over the years and quickly abandoned. I don’t want to do the same thing to my novel!

    Happy editing –

    1. Good for you Ashlee. I’ve been rushing through an edit of a novel for the last few weeks. Keep mustering through it. I’ve been told to step away and not force writing because it is a delicate process and I listened to that in the past. But I think it is better to power through it. Better to push through adversity and hardship rather than let it win. Keep going! The refining process can be the most rewarding part of writing a novel. You get to see what is really there.

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