Wednesday, July 18, 2018

3 Reasons To Write Your Novel Quickly

Many aspiring novelists spend literal years just creating the first draft of their first manuscript. The struggling, aspiring artist, who hates his day-job and has been working on his masterpiece for 20 years, is a recurring trope in film and television.

But there are a lot of good reasons to not spend 20 years working on your “masterpiece”, not least of all because most authors have to do a fair bit of throat-clearing before they become good at their craft, and sitting on one book for a huge chunk of your life is a poor way of achieving this.

The author Joseph Conrad, originally Polish, wrote one of the great classics of the English language without even being a native English speaker. Resources like Effortless English Club could help you to do the same. But the point is, you need to get started, rather than procrastinating endlessly.

Great authors from Jack London to Stephen King have advocated a prolific no-holds-barred writing schedule. Here are some reasons why you should follow their example and write your novel quickly.

                                     Image via

It will help you to get into a “flow” state

Often, writers can become their own worst enemies, by obsessively over-analysing every single word they’ve put down on the page.

While this kind of analysis is useful, to a point, you should generally save it until after you’ve completed your first draft, at which point you can worry about ironing out some of the untidy bits, and polishing your novel into the masterpiece you want it to be.

Your first job, however, is to get the basic bones of the story assembled, and to put everything down in written form so that you have the “clay” that you can then fashion into a masterpiece.

Writing fast helps you to enter a flow-state where you’re not constantly second-guessing yourself, but are, rather, getting the words out.

It will help you to summon up your “muse” on a regular basis

Jack London is frequently quoted as having said that “you can’t wait inspiration, you have to go after it with a club”. 

There’s an idea among many creative types that you need to wait around for inspiration to strike, at which point you produce great art in a haze of mystical fervour.

While there is such a thing as a “muse”, however, it’s not the kind of thing you can wait for. You have to go after it, and the way you do that is by forcing yourself to write, regularly.

Before long, you’ll find that “inspiration” starts to find you more and more often.

It will allow you to learn in accelerated time

As mentioned above, writing is a skill that has to be developed. It’s developed partly by doing a lot of reading, but also through doing a lot of writing.

In all likelihood, you will have to churn out a substantial amount of written work before you’ve refined your craft sufficiently to be a success at it.

Writing fast allows you to speed through this process, adjusting and learning as you go.


  1. I was doing that with my first novel and it took me forever to get it "just right." One day, I let the flow take over and just did it. Then, I was able to spend more time on editing *after* instead of while I was writing. It makes a big difference, in my opinion!

  2. I used to give similar advice to my students when I was teaching! I also tend to obsess over the details, but lately have just been writing my blog posts in full before going back to edit. Thanks for the tips!

    1. I do, too and when I do that while I'm writing I just get too wrapped up in little things. I've learned to just get it out and then go back and edit, edit, edit, lol!

  3. I've never written a novel, but I can say that I sometimes struggle writing posts for my blog. I totally agree that it helps to just go for it and start putting your thoughts down. You can always edit and adjust once you get going.

    1. Exactly! I spend much more time editing, definitely!

  4. This is helpful for even writers on the smaller scale! Thanks for the tips.