5 Things I’ve Learned Since Writing a Novel

I raised my glass of Diet Vernors and grape juice this morning, because I finally finished my novel! Well, the first draft of it anyway. The past few days have been difficult, and I have to say, I’ve learned a lot, which I’m about to share with you. I don’t want to turn this into some kind of Academy Award winning speech, but I do want to thank those who supported me throughout the process, and even before the process, telling me that I was a good writer, and to never give up, always asking how the book was coming along even before there was a book. These are the people every writer needs in his or her life and I’ve been blessed to have several in mine. They know who they are, I don’t need to list them out one by one. So now, on to the true meaning of the post. Here are 5 things I’ve learned since writing a novel:

  • Maybe I shouldn’t be a pantser. I know, I know, I wanted to be cool like Stephen King (see previous posts). But I really struggled toward the end of this novel, and I’m sure some major revisions will be in order. Had I done some actual outlining; I would have saved myself the trouble of trying to come up with scenes to meet my word count.
  • I should probably bite the bullet and use Scrivener. I have it, I just don’t use it, because I’m terrified it will lose all of my work for some reason, or I’ll use it wrong and it won’t compile into a Word document correctly. I typed this entire novel in Word, and let me tell you, nothing is more annoying than forgetting what chapter you’re on or having to scroll through the entire document when you have over 150 pages to get from the beginning to the end. I promise to practice with Scrivener before writing my next novel.
  • Um, invest in a desk chair? I typed 50,007 words while sitting on a dining room chair with a pillow on top of it. I’m still sitting in it as I type this blog post. I really comfortable desk chair sounds amazing right now. Maybe with the royalties from the sale of this novel…$$$
  • Staring at a computer screen is NOT good for migraines. Thankfully, toward the end of this novel, when I felt like my head was going to explode, I was scheduled for both Botox and Nerve Blocks, to get some relief. And I don’t know how much Tylenol I took throughout the creation of this masterpiece, in addition to Imitrex nasal spray. I’m hoping, by the time I write my next novel, there will be some sort of magical cure and I will be headache free the entire time.
  • Do not try to “write perfect” your first time around. Realize that you will have to revise this first draft no matter what and no one is going to see your rough draft. If you try to write with perfection, you’ll slow yourself down and I guarantee never finish your novel. Just write, let it flow, and revise it later. This is MY advice to YOU.

So, there you have it. Five things I’ve learned since writing a novel. One thing I will say, I am beyond pumped that in my last post, I wrote that I should be done with my novel in five days if you all held me accountable. Well, if you all look back, it’s been exactly five days. The accountability factor was that I didn’t want to let any of you down. So, thanks for that! I do hope you all enjoy my novel after I get done revising it. I haven’t decided to attempt to traditionally publish or just to go ahead and self-publish. Place your thoughts or comments below or on my Facebook feed. Thanks!

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