It’s amazing how many people have started writing a novel at some point in their lives. There always seems to be a stack of papers in the attic or a mysteriously titled word document that could have been a book, but there were too many reasons not to finish it: “No one wants to read about that.” “I just don’t know what more to write.” “I’m too busy with work and/or school.” Those are all actual excuses I have heard from people who could have been serious writers, and I feel slightly cheated as a reader every time I hear another excuse. So today I’ve decided to patch together a list of reasons why you should finish that novel:
1. Your novel is unique. Even if the market is swamped with similar stories, none are exactly like your novel. None are written in your unique style or carry quite the same weight as your story. There is nothing just like it out there. Period.
2. You do have the time. If you really didn’t have any time in your day, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. You don’t need a lot of time every day to write, even if you prefer to immerse yourself in it. If you just dedicate five minutes a day to pure writing, you’ll be shocked at how much material you can pump out.
3. Mood schmood. Writing is like working out or practicing a musical instrument. It’s easier when you get started. Commit yourself to writing fifty words, and it will be five hundred before you know it.
4. It is your debt to society. Well, maybe not in so many words, but there are a lot of dedicated readers who would love to read your book. You already have a market. And by keeping your stories to yourself, you’re robbing a lot of people of the joy and excitement of reading your book.
5. You can do it. There is nothing physically keeping your from writing. If you don’t have any more ideas, make a few words come out a bit at a time until you do. Writers’ block isn’t invincible.
6. WRITING A NOVEL WILL MAKE YOU A ROCKSTAR!!! Ok, not really. But it will make you a novelist, and that’s a pretty cool title. How would you like to add “author” to your list of accomplishments?
7. It won’t stop haunting you. If you start writing a novel and then stop, it won’t disappear. Even if you deleted the file or burned the written draft, the idea will still take up space in your head. You’ll still haven nights where you lie awake in bed and wonder what would have happened if you had finished it, how good it could have been. You will be haunted by that novel until it’s done.
8. You can be omnipotent. When you’re writing a novel, you are playing a god-like role in your own creation. It’s easy to forget that and settle for expectations, but you don’t need to if you don’t want to. Deviate all you like and explore hidden paths!
9. It will make your life more interesting. I never cared about how trees look in late autumn until they made an appearance in a story. You’ll need to study your own life for information and details, and you’ll notice that your life has myriad intricacies that you’ve never before picked up on.
10. It’s free entertainment. Writing a novel can (and should) be fun. Really fun. And it won’t cost you a nickel, and you can do it whenever you want, however you want. Seriously, does it get any better?
11. You might be great. You might be a horrible writer with cliche ideas, and you can still benefit from writing a novel. But you might also be much better than you thought. Great writers come from all sorts of backgrounds and interests. How will you know you’re not one of them unless you try?
12. People will respect you. It’s true. People respect writers, even if they’ve never heard of them or if they just have a book on a POD service. You write a book, and people will admire you for having the guts to do something that they never could.
13. Finishing your novel will make you a better person. It’s true. Writing novels will aid your creative thinking and problem solving skills, help your writing skills (obviously), give you better insight to others via your character creation, and give you more confidence as a person. Everyone should write a novel, if only for these reasons!
14. Why not? Seriously, the benefits outweigh the costs. Why not spend the next sixty seconds working on your novel?
What are your reasons for writing a novel? Please share in the comments section below–I’d love to hear from you!