Why I Failed to Write a Novel in 2015


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.


4 Replies to “Why I Failed to Write a Novel in 2015”

  1. Ms. Herveaux,
    I would like to say you wrote a very nice post about why you did not do something, in this case finish writing a novel. I know that feeling all too well. Time is a funny thing, often tragic, often magic. Please don’t get down about it and do your best to make something out of the original kernel of an idea for your novel in the future. I’ve written 2 novels myself and the first was the easiest. Life is like that, it places things we do not expect in front when we wanted to have it according to our plan. The idea is to keep moving ahead. So Adora, please move ahead. Others will be happy your did. Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I failed, about 3 times. My reason was I made too many excuses, also. I blamed dropping out of school. I blamed putting in extra hours. I even said “I didn’t start my novel because this book I’m reading is so good” about 4 times this year. I think it’s because I’m really scared. I have all these amazing story outlines, prologues and beginning but I can never finish them. I hope 2016 I stop fooling around.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post, Adora.

    However, I hope you learn from this year and be extra motivated this coming year.

    I completed my first novel in 2014 and, I sympathise that it is really tough. I have a full time job, a huge social life, lots of hobbies and things that take up a lot of time. However, you need to decide where your priorities lie.

    If you find yourself making excuses and placing other things in the way, you didn’t want it enough.

    If you really want to do it, you need to make it a priority.

    Goodluck in 2016.



  4. Hi there,
    I understand how hard it can be finally sit down and get to start cranking out words for a WIP. I am curious, but what exactly makes you want to write a novel anyway? I wish you the best of luck and I hope you succeed at your goal.



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