Want To Write A Novel? Here Are The 5 Things I Learnt After Writing One

Well it has been an intense four months, but my first ever novel has just been finished.

I was up 5pm to write on pretty much every work day during the week. The same routine was applied every evening. Sleep had definitely been a scarce commodity.

It was a tough four months physically and emotionally (Mrs WB40 was definitely not pleased from time to time) however it was also an eye opening experience.

Here’s what I have learnt.

1. You only need 3 things to accomplish any goals

I’ve actually termed a rather obnoxious acronyms for it: MPP, which stands for Motivation, Push and Pull.

Here’s how it works:

  • Motivation: I’ve always wanted to publish a book. A novel to be more specific. This desire provided a strong intrinsic motivation for me to see this goal through. This is the foundation to the source of my energy and it’s what got me out of the bed every morning, even at 5am on dark winter mornings.
  • Push factors: these are reasons and circumstances that are built on your motivation to make reaching your goal easier. In my case I had already sketched out the entire plot and written the first few chapters 3 years ago. I wasn’t reinventing the wheel since it had already been invented, therefore there weren’t any reasons not to see it through.
  • Pull factors: these are reasons that allure you towards the goals and provide the “sweet taste” once you have accomplished them. Personally once I have published, I could legitimately fall myself a novelist. I love that title! Hopefully people will read and love it, which would be awesome. An unintended benefit is that I would have created an asset if this was the case that could generate passive income for years to come, helping me to accomplish my WealthyBy40 Challenge.

2. You get to join an elite club of authors

According to Google, there are presently 281,300 authors in existence on Planet Earth, which is a bizarrely precise number!

Let’s say we trust Google, here’s the cool thing:

  • There are 7.6 billion people in the world in total.
  • If I were to join the author club? It makes me eligible to be in the 0.0037% club, which makes me a rarity (1 in every 26,845 to be exactly), which is on par with the global ultra high net worth frequency.
Essentially I get to join an elite club without the elitist price tag.

3. Having an idea is super easy, constructing it into a book is hard

I first got the idea whilst waiting for my connecting flight in Amsterdam, after a four week round the world work trip. It was through these travel that gave me the inspiration for my novel.

I managed to write the first 3 chapters of the book in the airport lounge and on the flight. However it then took me a further 3 years to properly construct the novel, develop the various characters and start writing.

It is super easy to have the idea for your novel however developing it into a readable piece of literature is extremely difficult and takes perseverance.

4. I have a love-hate relationship with writing

I generally enjoy writing. It allows me to deconstruct my thought process and express my views eloquently. Plus now that everything is digitalised, it will be made forever available for my offspring to consume.

However embarking on an 85,000-word action thrillers really allowed me to examine my relationship with writing at a raw range.

It was a yo-yo relationship.

On days when I was writing an epic action chapter I would be fully immersed in my laptop, my mind drifts alongside with the characters, experiencing their adventures, hearing and feeling their emotions.

Yet on some days when I was drafting other less exciting chapters, I often got distracted and procrastinated a lot.

The love-hate relationship I experienced with my novel persisted through out the writing process and I viewed it as part of the normal rite of passage. The key to overcome these periods of slow progress was to just keep writing and they eventually all went away.

5. Writing is only half of the battle

My initial thought process was to publish as soon as the first draft was written. I had even hired a graphics designer and an Amazon Kindle specialist to help me to work on the aesthetics part of the novel.

How wrong was I!

Once I’ve finished the first manuscript and actually read it end to end, I felt more confused than enlightened.

It simply had too many holes and too much inconsistency in the texts that if published, one might actually use it as toilet paper. It was then I learnt about the process of editing and how most writers spend as long (if not more) on editing as writing.

Well I guess it will be a while until I won the Nobel literature prize!

Wrap up

So where am I going next?

Well I’m hoping to complete editing the book in the next 8 weeks and then I’m going to self publish it on Amazon KDP.

Needless to say, I am super excited about this project.

Stay tuned. More updates to follow!