I have friends who write novels. Many novels. Long novels. I have friends whose books are shelved face out at Barnes and Noble. Some of them have been on the New York Times Best Seller’s list. I have friends who shepherd their books solo through drafting, editing, design, and releasing out to the reading public. Many of my friends have won awards for the words that they have written. I don’t really covet the awards, shelf placement, agents, editors, sales, or recommendation lists. All of those things come, or don’t come, after the primary effort is done. First my friends had to write the words. Hundreds of thousands of words. They sat at their keyboards and worked until they had a novel, or two, or ten. This is something I have yet to do. It is something I admire. I’ve blogged, written essays, created two picture books, drafted short stories, and crafted a memoir. These things are not insignificant. They are good and important works, but I have not written a novel.
My novelist friends succeed where I have not, because they have habits that I do not have. I’ve been watching them lately and looking at my daily schedule. I’m trying to figure out which habits I can fit into my life and what things that are currently in my life will have to get pitched in order to make space. Because no one gets more than twenty four hours in a day, not even novelists who create alternate realities. The time for considering is almost over. I need to start shoehorning writing habits into my days. I’ll start with one or two and see how far that gets me.
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