I recently wrote a blog post in which I discussed author Stephen King’s view that you should never take more than a season to write a novel. In that post, I posed a challenge to my readers to “write your novel this summer.” I’ve been thinking about this challenge, and I think it might be fun to make it a real “thing.”
How cool would it be if a bunch of us banded together to support each other in knocking out that first draft of the novels we’ve all been meaning to get around to? It could be kind of like NaNoWriMo, only we get an entire season rather than just one month. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to write a novel in one month, November is just about the worst month of the year to do it in!
I consider myself a writer, despite the fact that I am currently teaching for a living. And it seems to me like a lot of my writer friends are in the same boat. We have to support ourselves somehow, and teaching can provide us with the flexibility we need to continue with our writing.
This is never more true than in those summer months when so many of us are hard pressed to find work. The past few years, I have knocked myself out every summer dredging up freelance writing work that barely paid enough to cover the amount of time I spent looking for the work to begin with.
This summer, I’ve decided not to do it. Why beat myself up only to work for pennies on someone else’s project when this could be my opportunity to focus on my own writing?
Furthermore, why do it alone? I am quite certain there are a number of you who could just as easily write the first draft of your novels this summer as well. I bet you’d like to have a support system in place to help you do it, right? So, I have decided to put that support system in place for you (and for myself.) I would like you to join me in my official Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge.
This is FREE, by the way. So stop holding your breath. Stop breezing through the rest of the post to get to the part where I tell you how much I want you to pay me. This is JUST FOR FUN.
(Unless you really want to pay me, then I’ll happily give you my PayPal address. I am a starving artist, after all. I don’t turn away free money.)
Now, when I say I want you to write a novel this summer, I don’t mean you should try to have a perfect manuscript by the end of the season. Instead, I want you to simply focus on putting your first draft on the page. Your entire story: beginning, middle, and end. Let’s just get through that first step together, and then we can work on revising and editing come fall. If enough of us finish, maybe we could even throw together some online critique groups to help each other clean up those rough first drafts we completed over the summer.
You can’t call yourself a writer if you do not write. You will never be a novelist if you don’t put one foot in front of the other and take the steps required to actually write a novel. Let’s take that first step together, shall we? Whether you are already working on your novel or are starting from scratch, I challenge you to join me and Write Your Novel this Summer.
Are you ready to accept the challenge?
- Hop on over to the brand new Facebook page I just created: Write Your Novel This Summer.
- Take the pledge.
- Join the conversation.
- Get featured…
Featured Writers on Facebook
Do you want to drive more readers to your writing blog or portfolio website? My plans for the Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge include featuring a writer on our Facebook page on a regular basis (daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the number of submissions.)
To become a featured writer, all you have to do is “like” the Write Your Novel this Summer Facebook page and watch for topic prompts. You should then answer the prompt in 100 words or less and submit it to me via private messaging on Facebook. You should include a link to your blog or portfolio website in your submission. If your submission is chosen, I will share both your response and link as a Featured Writer post.*
Ask your friends to take the challenge
Please feel free to mention the Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge on your blogs and invite every writer you know to take the challenge.
Throughout this challenge, I am going to take you through the novel writing steps I have learned in my creative writing Master’s degree program and help you figure out how to finally get your novel started.
The time has come to stop focusing on the end product and just take one little step to get started. Novels are not written all at once. They are written one word at a time. Let your first words be, “I take the pledge to write my novel by the end of this summer.” Now, go to the official Write Your Novel this Summer Facebook page, like the page, and type in those words. Let’s do this!
*Rules: This is not a contest, so there are no contest rules. You will not “win” anything by taking part in the Featured Writer exercise. By submitting a response to a Featured Writer Prompt, you give me permission to use your public Facebook name and share both your response to the prompt and link to your blog or portfolio website via all of my social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.
- Emerging Writers Guest Post #24 – Norma Horton – Unpublished? Know Thyself – A writing adventure (lpobryan.com)
- Get Writing – A Writer Gone Fishing (awriterinspired.wordpress.com)
- Where Are You on the Scale? (stacitroilo.com)
- Get Writing – Write With The Pack (awriterinspired.wordpress.com)
- 3 Things You Should Be Doing (Are YOU?) (whispererofwords.wordpress.com)
- Helpful Writing Facebook Links (jbpolkadots.wordpress.com)
- Writing prompts to set you fizzling and end that writer’s block (jilllondon.wordpress.com)
- 500 Words a Day: Overcoming Writing Anxiety (curiouschido.wordpress.com)
- “The Teething Problems of Becoming a Writer” by Laura Graham (authorshelpingauthors.wordpress.com)
- Where is the Inspiration?: A writer’s lamentation (inkatheart.wordpress.com)