The 22 Stages of Writing a Novel, From THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER to I HATE EVERYTHING

What a journey this has been.

1. I have a new idea for a book! Do I have time for a new idea for a book? What is time? NEW IDEA!

2. I cannot stop thinking about this new idea. It is consuming me.

3. Maybe … maybe I’ll just open a blank document and write a few paragraphs to get it out of my system. There’s no harm in that, right?

4. I have written 20 pages of a book? I guess I should keep going??

5. THIS IS THE BEST IDEA FOR A BOOK I HAVE EVER HAD.

6. And it’s actually WORKING! It doesn’t totally suck! I’M DOING IT! I’M WRITING A BOOK!

7. This is the worst idea for a book I have ever had.

8. I can’t decide if I should force myself to finish it or just quit now.

9. Is it too late to quit? Am I too far in? Am I allowed to just … stop?

10. I don’t totally hate the idea I just … this is harder than I thought it would be. Writing a book is like running a marathon except it takes, like … months. I’m tired.

11. But I still can’t stop thinking about the book. I don’t want to stop writing it. I just don’t know if I can finish it.

12. What if I just tried? What if I just sat down and tried to keep writing until I either finished or just couldn’t do it anymore?

13. OK, I’m going to do it. I’m going to try finishing what I started.

14. Wow. This is kind of hard.

15. Actually … it’s not that hard after all. It’s actually almost fun?

16. I’m writing a book and I’m maybe going to finish it!

17. I’m so proud of myself for not quitting!

18. This is going to be the best book ever!

19. I HATE THIS BOOK I WANT TO FINISH IT JUST SO I CAN BURN IT.

20. Once I’m done I never want to look at this thing ever again.

21. I’m … done? And I don’t totally hate every part of it? Just some parts?

22. Maybe I’ll just edit a few pages. Just to get it out of my system …


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.


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