Today in my search keywords: “finish a fantasy novel”. Why yes, seeker, I did. Twice. (I’m awesome that way.)
How? I will let you in on my secret. Writer + laptop + chair + time = novel. (I left out a few of the nonessential ingredients such as coffee, music and cats… if you are following the basic recipe though, and still having trouble, consider adding one of these.)
If you are short of the basics, it is very hard to finish a novel. If you have a laptop, chair, and time, and are still having trouble finishing, it is possible, as Grady Hendrix suggests in a recent post, that you are not actually a writer.
It is also possible, in my experience, that instead of writing a novel of fun escapism, you’re writing a novel about hard stuff you have experienced: loss, ill health, depression, abuse, that kind of thing. When I procrastinate, it is not because I’m not a writer. It is because I’m afraid.
Once I push past this fear, and take a hard look at whatever is in my path, I make my best work. It doesn’t have to be literally about my experience–in fact, it rarely is–but it has to have a core that is mined from my deepest self. Some may find this easy. I do not.
I do, however, find it joyful, and more rewarding than anything else on this earth.
Oh, and before I go, here’s some other stuff that is rewarding: