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Always wanted to write a novel? Read this.

Advanced tips for writers

Moving from the dream to the reality

If it’s always been your dream to write
a novel, sometimes the journey from dream to reality can be a difficult one. If an ambition is a sort of vague ‘one day I’ll do it’ idea, it’s unformed, amorphous, all in our heads.

The fantasy version

That means that when we go to turn the dream into a reality it’s hard to know where to start. Also, the dream version can be, well, dream-like, an ideal ‘fantasy version’ of the writing life and possibly an easy version of it. Not only does writing and selling a novel come easily in the fantasy but we’re also living in a gorgeous house, with a gorgeous partner with plenty of money too!

The opposite might also be true in which the fantasy (nightmare?) of writing a novel is impossibly hard, it takes up all your time, you never see your family and friends and you have no hope of getting your work published.

Until you reflect on it, you won’t know which of these two fantasies you’re carrying around. Or maybe yours is slightly different? Here’s the good news: neither the rosey fantasy or the nightmare are true. Why?

  • Because real life has a way of intruding on fantasy. Writing a novel doesn’t have to be like reaching the end of a rainbow to be worthwhile.
  • And because once you know how it’s done, you can design your writing life so it fits with what you’re doing already. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare either.

How do I know? Because I’ve done it.


To recap, going from the dream version of ‘I want to write a novel’ to the reality may be hard because:

  • It’s an unformed idea so we don’t know where to start.
  • It’s all in our heads.
  • The fantasy version seems easy.
  • The fantasy version comes with other fantasy accoutrements.
  • The nightmare version seems impossibly hard.

Make the transition

So how do you go about making that transition? Once you’ve decided you do actually want to write it and you haven’t outgrown the dream, here are some tips:

  • Start a writing habit. Turn up regularly. This is what’s going to get your book written in the end.
  • Practise – use writing prompts if you need them. I give some away for free on here – click on ‘free writing resources’ in the menu.

And what actually goes into writing a novel as ‘real life’ thing rather than a ‘one day’ dream? Download your free checklist here.

More soon. Until then, happy writing,

Louise xx

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