“I’m working on a novel”

“There is no shortcut to writing a novel, or to rewriting it. No publisher will be interested in hearing that a first novelist has a great idea- the publisher would want to see the book.” Richard North Patterson

“I’m working on a novel.”

You probably have heard this phrase often. You might have even said it a time or two yourself. Perhaps to your friend or at a dinner party or some social event. Then the question follows, “What is your book about?” Or, “Have you published anything before?”

You hesitate. Your heart skips a beat thinking what answer you can give. You have spent valuable time and energy studying writing, attending writers’ meetings, moving from one writers’ circle to another, being part of various discussion groups, taking classes, and enrolling in writers’ workshops. Only to come to the sad conclusion that without a manuscript you are still at the same place as when you just started.


Henry Ford once wrote:
“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”

You read all kinds of books on writing to get inspired. You try to follow all the instructions and advice. While all this is good you realize that what you have actually been doing is to stall or postpone the actual writing. You read about schedule and discipline. You wish your days or nights were longer and you had more time. You are too busy working to earn a living.

Or maybe, like me, you are busy being a “writer” and you forget that the first and foremost rule is to write. Even though you truly believe in yourself, in your dream and in your ability to succeed.

“There are no shortcuts- no substitutes for experience and hard work. Roll up those sleeves pal.” Ralph Peters


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