• A. Ireland King

So, you want to write a novel?

Updated: Mar 13, 2018

Roughly three years ago (that's right, three years) I had an idea for that all-important bucket-list item: my novel. I got myself a caffeinated beverage, sat down at my computer, opened word and began to type. I thought I was onto a real winner! I had no idea what I was getting into. So many of us start to write without any market research, or even a plot outline.

Market research doesn't matter at all, unless your goal is to sell the book! As for outlines and plans, they don't matter if you're happy to redraft your entire novel every time you make an improvement to the plot or add a new twist.

I used to leave the book for weeks and months at a time when things were busy or I wasn't in the zone. Our baby girl was only a year old when this all started. What was I thinking? I'd come back to it and I'd have forgotten where I was in the story. I'd read it from the beginning over and over. Some days I was convinced it was crap, then I'd get excited about it and write a bit more.

About a year ago, I finished my first draft and thought the job was done! I ignored silly blog posts that said your first draft is about half the work, if you're lucky. Time-consuming edits were optional, surely?

I began to consider self-publishing, and only when publication became a reality did I finally start learning all the things I wish I'd known before I started.

Many struggles and several drafts later, I have a book! People are actually reading it and enjoying it. That's been possible for me largely because of the wealth of information, courses and writing advice available online. With a bit of determination, you can do it from home in your own time, and on your own budget.

Have you ever thought about writing, or are you doing it now? Has it occurred to you that if a numpty like me can do it, then you can too? What worries you most about the process? #newwriter