When something is a negotiation, we often hear that there is one question that will get to the heart of the matter. This question starts with the stem, “What would it take to…” The idea is that once you articulate the circumstances under which something would happen, it is a shorter journey to making that thing happen.
So, What would it take for you to finish your novel?
Maybe you need a plan or an outline. Or maybe, you just need to start. Perhaps you could use a chance to build a writing practice. You may be a writer who is stuck in the Messy Middle and needs a way to write through it. Whatever it is that is holding you back, naming it and addressing it head on will give you the power to overcome it and to finish your novel.
What would it take for you to finish your novel FASTER?
Would time help? What about commitment to your writing—even dedicated writing time that was set aside and was inviolate. It could be that feedback on what you’ve written so far and encouragement to keep writing would spur you to finish faster. Lots of writers tell how they spent ten or even twenty years working on their novel, until after much trial and error and many many revisions, they landed an agent and then a book deal. You could make the choice to learn from someone who can guide you through the process and avoid the rookie mistakes. You could get the benefit of other people’s experience and not have to learn how to write a novel the hard way.
What would it take for you to finish your novel more EASILY?
Would you finish easily if you had confidence in your story idea, or your plot, or your characters? Perhaps you need a better understanding of the publishing process, so that rejection seems less personal and terrifying. Writing is tough, so getting feedback early in the process can save you time. You could work out an idea through an outline or a series of scene sketches without having to write the whole thing before you know whether it will work.
What would it take for you to finish your novel and make it BETTER?
Professional support from someone who knows books could give you a leg up on making a better book. They could provide insights for your novel or your process that would make your novel shine. Maybe you would enjoy gaining a better understanding of how stories work, so that you could make yours work even better. Learning more about the craft of writing could be the thing that catapults you to a better novel. When people want to get good at something, they take the time to learn about it, and they take the time to practice, maybe even 10,000 hours! Creating art takes skill and no one is born knowing how to do it. Every great artist learns from others.
What would it take? As you stare down the new year, now is the perfect time to assess your writing practice and ask yourself first, whether you want to write that novel, and then, assuming the answer is yes, what would it take?
A book coach led writing retreat could provide you with many of the tools you need to finish your book and to finish it faster, more easily, and make it better. What are you waiting for?
You can find Readerly Book Coaching at https://readerly.net
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