My number one resolution for 2015 was write debut novel. This was going to be the year when all of my outlining and mental planning came together into one cohesive women’s fiction book. With the year coming to a close my word count currently sits at zero; so much for my grand plans. As with anything in life, if you’re going to succeed you need to determine why you failed. Here’s what I came up with:
I was too busy socialising
We writers tend to be a reclusive bunch, requiring absolute solitude to get any writing done and often preferring the company of a good book to actual conversation. As a result we tend to only have a handful of good friends, so when my social circle suddenly increased from two to almost twenty I found my calendar jammed packed with social engagements. Lunches, dinners, drinks, trips to the theatre, sporting matches, birthday parties, it was all happening this year. Considering you never know how long a friendship will last, I took advantage of every invitation to get out there and have a little fun. Consequently, sitting at a computer typing for hours on end lost its appeal.
My word count went towards job applications
Half way through the year I told myself, it’s fine, I’ll write the novel during NaNoWriMo. November rolled round and I found myself job hunting instead. I was desperate to finish up in my current role before the end of the year and start the new-year in an exciting new role and company. I rewrote and updated my resume about five times and applied for seven jobs for a total word count of 5,377. Ok, so that’s not exactly anywhere near the 50,000 words I was supposed to have written for NaNoWriMo, but it did monopolise a good chunk of what would have otherwise been writing time. On the upside, I successfully found a fabulous new digital marketing role with a high content creation focus; so I can pay the bills whilst honing my craft.
I made too many excuses
There’s a part of me, and it’s a really big part of me, that believes I need to get everything in my life sorted before I can even contemplate concentrating on writing a successful debut novel. I need to have a fun social life that’s balanced with a well-paying job I love and that engages my creativity. But that’s the ultimate excuse isn’t it. My life is never going to be sorted, there’s never going to be the perfect time to write. If I’m going to write a debut novel I need to make the time to write, I need to make it a priority. Otherwise I’m just another writer with a dream rather than a plan.
So why is 2016 going to be different? Honestly, I’m not really sure that it is. But that’s a problem for future me. Right now, I’m satisfied in having taken the first step to admiting I failed and to recognise why I failed.
Did you fail to write a novel in 2015? Let me know in the comments what excuses you made.