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Two steps forward, one step back.

Boxes in an atticOne major difficulty you may encounter when writing a novel, certainly if you are a first-timer like me, is finding the resolve to keep going. Many people say they have started a book and it is now lost, or it is languishing in a shady corner of their attic on a few bits of dot-matrix printed paper from 1985, or it only exists in their imagination… but they will finish it one day, honestly!

My own story sprang into being shortly after I was made redundant back in 1992, it struggled to reach around 5,000 words and then sat as a file on various computers for the next twenty years. Then I attended Tracey West’s course, “Unlock the book in you in 100 easy steps” and decided that the time had finally come to continue where I left off.

I set myself a deadline, which came and went without any real progress, but after that deadline has passed I did find time to move my book on quite a bit. Recently I decided to set aside Thursday afternoons just for writing . It seemed like a good idea, but the two Thursday’s since I decided to do that have both come and gone with no extra words added to my book. The word count is about 27,000 now, so a lot has been accomplished in the few months since I attended Tracey’s course, but I still have a lot of story to tell.

How can one find the determination to see a piece of work through to the end? It is easy to think of many different ways to get your book finished, but much more difficult to stick to them You could set yourself a deadline, or spend a week or a month doing nothing else but write, or set aside a specific time each day or week when you will write, come what may. There are also ways to get peer pressure to work for you; sign up to NaNoWriMo (which is in November) and you will get a lot of people who will nag you to keep going. It is difficult to keep those ideas alive when life throws many other challenges your way. One final suggestion is to talk to Magic Oxygen and tell them about your book. They will fire you up to get it done and once you decide on a publication date your book will take on a life of it’s own and you will get it finished.

So if you are reading this and 2014 is gone or near it’s end, and there isn’t a big banner at the top of my site saying “Buy my book NOW” then please drop me a line and ask when it will be published. It might just be the nag I need to get to the end!

Yours, eventually
Simon

3 thoughts on “Two steps forward, one step back.

  1. Very good advice Simon for budding new authors who are struggling with self-imposed deadlines.

    They are great to work towards but they are not the be all and end all. Sometimes the right words just don’t come and conversely, occasionally, they come when you don’t have the time to record them!

    Take your novel at the pace you can manage and above all, enjoy the process.

    T x

  2. Hi Simon,

    Wise words! I’d like to think there’s a book in me, but was not sure of the subject area until very recently.

    As you’re aware, Sue and I have decided to split up following a Boxing-day incident. The house is being sold whilst I’m staying in a cheap hotel and looking for a place to rent and see my kids etc.

    Well … in the midst of all this craziness I have met New Woman and she’s doing a great job of filling my life with joy right now!

    How does this relate to a book? She’s into romantic novels and has given me a couple to read. The first thing that struck me was a sense of “I could write this”. So am currently embarked on writing some letters to her as our relationship evolves.

    Am hoping that maybe one day I will have enough material that I can piece it all together somehow to make a book.

    Hope you find your next does of inspiration soon 🙂

    Mark x

  3. Hi Mark,

    We wish you well and hope you find a bit of happiness every day. If that leads to a work to be published then you know where to come, if not then just enjoy the process of writing.

    I like to think of writing, selecting the perfect words for a sentence as being akin to an artist, choosing just the right colour and shade for a tiny part of a painting.

    Simon x

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