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The Ups And Downs Of Writing A Novel, by Onil Lad

My first month of full-time writing has had its ups and downs.

The ups being:

My novel is progressing: the plot has strengthened, the story has been fleshed out and a number of chapters have been completed, in rough draft form.

With the extra time, I’ve started writing book reviews. I’ve read plenty of books but when asked for a critique I struggle to communicate myself succinctly. Book reviewing is fun and helps me to focus on what makes a good story.

Every setback doesn’t have to be a catastrophe because there is time available for re-working.

I’m trying my hand at memoir writing. The words come quickly and I like the results. It helps with the novel and I’d like to try my hand at biography.

For the first time I’ve been able to write every day. It feels good. I didn’t have a set word count this month. I just wanted to get into the groove.

I don’t have to cram my reading into weekends. Now I get a longer run at a book , take in more and have time to focus on the writing. During the month I’ve read a number of books both inside and outside of my genre.

It’s hard to motivate myself to keep fit when I work a job all day. Now I get to exercise in the morning and I find that inspiration comes readily when I’m pursuing outdoor activities. I’m fitter now than when I was in my full-time job.

Some of my best ideas come when I step away from the keyboard and allow the words to percolate. When I have more time to myself and am immersed in reading, the ideas come at a regular clip.

The downs:

When I do pause for breath and realise things haven’t come out as planned, it feels like the end of the world. With too much time on my own, the problems get bigger in my mind. I look at how much work is ahead and think I’ll never make it.

Now that I’ve taken a month off to write, the pressure is on to produce a manuscript.

The internet is hard to get away from. Spending all day reading blogs, articles and book reviews is fun but results in a word count of zero.

All in all it’s been a good month.

If one month off turns into two, it’s no big deal in the grand scheme of things as long as it leads to getting the book written. If I go back to work now, it will take me years.

In October, I’m going to treat it like a job and start word counting.  Two thousand words a day for twenty five days and the novel will be finished.


Onil Lad’s bio page


The Indigo SkySavage TideBurning LiesHouse for all Seasons by Jenn J McLeodThe Fortunes of Ruby White

Writing Novels in Australia


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