How To Come To Terms With Your Book Is Not Going To Write Itself #ASMSG #AmWriting


This is a tough one and can take some writers several years to come to terms with.

You will have an unfinished draft novel, sat in a drawer or lounging on top of your writing desk or loitering in your writing file on your computer. All book writing momentum will have left your writer body. The thought of sitting down and ploughing on for another thirty thousand words will not be an appealing one.

It’s at this stage you start to consider the possibility of the following:

  • Magical elves scurrying in during the small hours and writing the rest of your book.
  • Waking up one morning to find its all been a bad dream and your completed manuscript lying on your bedside table.
  • A famous best-selling author replying to your ‘my #unfinishednovel is making me sad’ tweet with ‘let’s meet for coffee and chat through your book. I might be able to help you finish it!’
  • Planting ‘magical book seeds’ in your vegetable patch with the belief you will be able to dig up your finished novel in a few weeks time.
  • Being visited by your ‘writer fairy godmother’ in the night who waves a magical wand and transforms your unfinished manuscript into a completed one, edited and with no typos.
  • A white book stork flying over your house with its own version of a new baby in its beak – a finished manuscript.
  • Walking along a beach and finding a bottle washed up on the shore with the rest of your manuscript inside it.
  • Your unfinished book writing itself.

So, how do you come to terms with your book is not going to write itself?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your unfinished novel will stay unfinished if you carry on spending time in fantasy land.

There are no literary elves, magical book seeds, book storks or writer fairy godmothers. Best selling authors have better things to do with their time. Your book is not going to write itself!

It’s time to wake up and drag your lazy writer self over to your chair and write the rest of your novel.

Get to work writer – only you can make the literary dream happen.

Have a fabulous day!
Psst…if anyone does know of some efficient and reliable literary elves, send them my way 😊


Posted by

Still waiting for the Sleepless in Seattle film sequel. Romcom Author. Book Blogger. Mum of teens. Owned by a golden Labrador.

45 thoughts on “How To Come To Terms With Your Book Is Not Going To Write Itself #ASMSG #AmWriting

  1. You’re absolutely right. We all have those times that we lose our drive for writing and it’s hard to get re-started. To prevent this I try to stay in touch with my novel daily, even if it’s only a paragraph.

  2. Suggestion – it might be a silly one, I don’t know! But if you (I don’t mean you personally, Lucy, but you generally!) see finishing the novel as a chore you can’t get on with, could it be it’s perhaps not what you want to be doing? Or perhaps you just want to WANT to do it. A bit like me with going for a 2 mile walk every day! I think that if writing is really your thing, you can’t wait to get on with it. Can’t write fast enough, even have two going on at once (I don’t do that but I know some do!).

    There’s nothing shameful about realising that we didn’t want to do something quite as much as we thought we did. Haven’t we all got hobbies we started, that tailed off? Or it might be that you DO want to write, but are more suited to writing articles/blog posts, or short stories. Writing a novel is a big commitment, and I think you really have to want to do it.

  3. Terry makes an excellent point except if you have an unbalanced mind or even low mood edging toward depression want and doing become very different things. Motivation there is extremely hard no matter how much you actually want to do something. Even established hobbies find themselves struggling to get re-started.

    Personally, I think the reasons for struggling to write are legion. Maybe the story isn’t going anywhere, the habit has been disturbed and needs resetting, real life has thrown in a curve ball and so on. The hardest one of all is recognising its not, as Terry says, what you actually want to do.

    Caveat; procrastination is not linked to that. That is a very different beast if it affects ALL aspects of life. If its due to a general low mood and self esteem then if drifts away from rationality into irrational decision making. Cognitive dissonance; internal thought contradiction; I can write well and I’m rubbish. That puts the mind in limbo and decision making is paralysed. Of course that might well be a deeper issue and not necessarily constrained to writing. Speaking from personal experience; this path is not a good one.

    If you truly want to write (and I think you do) then evidence it against comments received and try not to listen to yourself. Its not for us to decide if its good or bad; that’s the role of the reader.

    All terribly easy to say!!

    And think on; if this is your first step toward actual publication then the road there is filled with rocks. Do it once and things will settle better in your head πŸ™‚

      1. Well, I did say; anything that looks like you might be wavering then I’d pop over and give you a talking to πŸ™‚ x

      2. I am stuck in a caravan with two teens and no wifi. There’s no wavering on my part as all I can do is write and explain to teens there was life ‘before wifi’

      3. OMG; you are quite mad!! Although I’m away next weekend with mine!!

        Oddly, whenever I raise that topic they look at me with that look saying “You must be really old then.”

  4. I definitely want a few fairies to come visit me–particularly when it’s editing time! But, you’re right, there’s no magic cure, except the magical momentum of just plain doing it. When I start out on a long run, the first mile is torture (well, most miles are, who am I kidding) but the first one is the hardest. And then I find a groove. When I’ve got a novel languishing, and I do right now, I know I just need to dive back in and start running. I do find the best way to kick myself in the butt is to start making promises to myself. Like entering the latest #pitchwars. Or signing up for a conference. Or committing to my writing group that I’ll give them a new chapter for our next meeting. In other words, outside accountability seems to be my best “magic.”
    I think both Terry and Gary make interesting points here, too. Great discussion.

  5. Ugh, this was definitely timely. I’m so struggling with this, with the best intentions to get up at 5 and spend at least 2 hours writing, ‘ok, 2-3 pages a day’, ‘ok, all day Saturday, half the day Sunday’, the document always open on my computer….and never touched….and I might have recently planted some seeds… πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the gentle kick in the ass! Take heart, fellow writers, we shall prevail!!

  6. I need a literary elf, I’ve been sat here on Facebook and blog for over an hour now. I have about two hours of paid work to do today and a book to write.. just keep putting it off.. which is crazy as my book is very important.

    But yes would be lovely to wake up to a written 85000 word draft. I wonder how the story will end, I still haven’t worked that out.. I’m hoping my characters will tell me towards the end.

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