Top 8 Reasons I Didn’t Finish My Book: Be successful; be prolific.

1. Kids were crazy last night. I couldn’t get them to write for me. Of course, they’re 3 and 7.

2. I’m waiting for Kristen Lamb’s next blog post to tell me how to do it right.

3. I have conflicting advice from two different blogs, so I’m waiting for them to fight it out and tell me the correct rule.

4. I’m still collecting rules on writing. I need to read more writing craft books before I can start.

5. You can’t push this sort of genius. It happens when it happens.

6. I have writer’s block today.

7. I could write, or I could play Planetside 2. They need my help in that virtual war.

8. That clickbait about “When you see this picture, your jaw will drop!” or “Mind. Blown,” with a thumbnail intriguing enough that I have to find out what it says? There’s chains of that stuff. It’s like smoking, but much, much worse for your body. Must… click… next… blurb. “Top 5 underdressed red carpet leading ladies.”  “Kanye’s simple trick that will earn you millions.”

Look, you guys, if you write 2000 words a day, you will finish your book in a month and a half. So easy!

Over 20 years, you could have written  14,600,000 words if you did 2000 words a day. That adds up to 146 books of 100,000 words. It’s 243 books of 60,000 words.  It’s hard to ignore an author with a body of work that large.

Perhaps you’re giving me the wall-eyed stare.  I had a professor who taught a very nifty landlord/tenant class at the local community college who was wall-eyed. You could never tell if he was calling on you.  He’d have to point. The class materials were useful, though. I wish I’d had the class back before I’d rented from the one lousy landlord who decided to keep our deposit.

Yeah. Wall-eyed stare. “If that’s true, Pontius, why haven’t you finished <i>your</i> book?”

*Ahem*. Yes. There is that. I’m working on it! I’ve got excuses saved up, and I’m going to sell those on amazon instead. “The Book of Trite Excuses Why I’m Not Finishing My Novel Timely You Guys,” that’s the title.

If you wrote 3000 words a day, you could finish a novel in 20 days. It’s a month and change if you want 100,000 words.

So, what’s your excuse for not finishing a novel? Join me wallowing in guilt! Comment away. And then get back to writing.

38 thoughts on “Top 8 Reasons I Didn’t Finish My Book: Be successful; be prolific.

    • Fear is a huge driver. It chokes the life out of everything we do. We fear we won’t have enough money. We fear they won’t like us. We fear they’ll think we’re imbeciles. We fear they’ll think we’re failures. We fear they’ll hurt us.

      That’s huge. If you want to write and publish, you’ll need a thick skin. The people on Amazon run the gamut of nice to mean and crotchety. The mean ones will come after you with a keyboard sharpened into a shiv and try to stab you in the showers when your guard is down. The nice ones can be like those smothering old ladies who keep trying to feed you a crumpet you don’t want (no carbs or sugar, thanks) and give 5 stars to everyone.

      It’s the mean crotchety people with shivs that we fear. It’s a collective fear; it’s an individual fear.

      So what? To quote Taylor Swift (yes, I’m going to): Haters gonna hate …I shake it off.

      So write what you’re going to write and if people don’t like it, fine. If they like it, fine. Writing isn’t defined by commercial success. We judge people to be successful writers because they sell books, but that’s subjective.

      Am I right?


  1. I suppose… but if selling books doesn’t define a successful writer, what does? I’d give mine away if I thought anyone would want to read it or enjoy reading it if they ever tried. Mostly why I started my blog – to write what I write and “let the chips fall where they may”.


    • For you, it may be therapeutic. Those who read it may resonate with your experience. In some ways, it’s validating to know others have trod your path and they felt what you feel. Who wants to be the person who first goes through a harrowing and horrifying experience? Isn’t it better to at least see what others have done and do to heal and to deal with it?

      I read somewhere once that the value a company has is only the sum of the conversations being had by its employees.

      That is to say, the dialogue you have with your reader is valuable and useful, even if it feels one-sided and it’s just you writing.


      • Thank you. I will most likely always have at least some difficulty accepting that what I have to say is worth hearing – but replies like yours help balance out the scales so I can at least consider that maybe what I have to say IS worth hearing.


            • Maybe. But you’re also taking me into something that I don’t readily understand. To me, poetry can be anything the writer says it is. In that way, it is more akin to painting or photography. The painting may not tell a story or refer to other works, or it may be part of an art conversation and does not stand alone.

              But what of poetry that evokes a story? Say, Charge of the Light Brigade? It’s got all the classic story elements.

              Liked by 1 person

              • So it’s more of a creative issue? That’s something. I’ve tried to make a convoluted plot, but it keeps coming out too linear. I’ve been reading James Scott Bell’s Write Great Fiction and he addresses this – he’s got this simple system for plotting, and then the character arc thing, that was fascinating to read. Do four columns, and you put where your character is in the first one, then where you want your character to be in the last one. What’s the change? And what are the stages? When someone does character arc right in a book, it’s an awesome book. Who doesn’t like character arc?

                But overlaying that on a plot, with the tough middle part, I get that it’s the hardest part. It’s the meat of the story.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t forget to write just to get ideas down on paper. To hell with the rules until it’s time to revise. I have a feeling you might be having writer’s block because you’re trying to juggle all this new info while telling a story. Don’t! apply the rules piecemeal to revisions.


    • Hey Angela! How’s the new identity thing been working for you? 😀

      Yar. I’m okay with the revision process, actually. My problem lies more in the plotting and long vision than with the prose. I’m sort of joking about the rules– I found that my edits removing passive voice, for instance, made the writing stronger. It did! Maybe. Chapter 6 of the story is here, and that’s pretty much blurted on to the screen with only a few edits as I went.

      Then again, Dave says there’s something off about it. So maybe the rules are constricting my awesomeness!

      The writer’s block, though, I’m with E.F. on that one– you just write. There’s only writer’s block if you choose not to write.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. 1) I’ve gotta go to work today.
    2) Awww man, they expect me to actually do WORK at work?
    3) Well, I’ve got some spare time now. But my coworker’s telling me how her date went. Gotta be supportive.
    4) Okay, being supportive is kind of fun.
    5) Screw writing. Let’s go get drinks!
    6) Drinky drink drink drink.
    7) Man, I should’ve been in bed an hour ago. I’ve gotta go to work tomorrow. Maybe just a sentence or two.
    8) Nah, too tired.
    9) See step one. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    There y’go, with searing honesty. 😛

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s bloody. How do you get a book written?! We’re going to have to stage an intervention, except how do you do that on a blog? #5: Screw interventions, let’s go get drinks.

      Some people are more driven than others. Write a book or play a videogame. Write a book or drink. Write a book or make pasta with fried onions and garlic and parmiggiano cheese.

      This is laden with conflict. I’m tellin’ ya, people would pay to read about writers having the time of their lives while not writing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I was going to write a response almost exactly the same as this one, except inserting something about children in-between the drinking… Speaking of children… I wonder where they are? – I should probably go and cook dinner now.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe I should put #8: Comment on this blog.

      It feels like I’m helping people…

      not accomplish writing. Bad me. Everyone go write 2000 words, even you in the corner over there. You know who you are.

      Liked by 1 person

        • You need one of those silent keyboards. Won’t wake the baby. And a silent mouse. I’d kill for a quiet keyboard. I hate that they clack and make a boatload of noise.

          Yes, keeping the baby quiet is good, but you still got sneak in those 2000 words at some point. It’s good that hubby is writing and such, but I was pointing at you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Crap. Failed to convince the pointer with my excuse. Alright, fine. I’ll see about a flash fiction today to add to one of my collections in progress.
            Happy now?


            • Never! I’m a tyrant. When I’m dictator of everything, you’ll be chained to a cold desk and forced to write Harry Potter novels, with Scrooge for your boss. The pre-ghost Scrooge, not the nice one who saves Tiny Tim.

              Good thing I’m not Dictator of Everything, huh? 😉 I’ve got my eye on you, Andrea.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Nooo! I like fresh air and the occasional moment of blinding sunshine.
                Besides that, as much as I would enjoy some kind of continuation of the Harry Potter world I highly doubt I could do it justice.
                But I digress.
                Woe is me and my pitiable potential future!


              • This is so addicting. I *must* comment! I have to comment. I can’t stop myself. Who cares if people will judge my body of work in 100 years based on my wordpress comments, if they survive?

                Yeah, work on the manuscript.


  4. Main reason….I like short stories. It’s also why I tend not to read WP posts that go over 1000 words. If I can’t make my point in 500 words or less, I lose interest in writing…so why would anyone want to read it ??? Just sayin’ ☺ Van


    • If you’re more prolific and can discipline yourself to do 6000 words a day, you’ll finish a book every week and a half. Plus, if you extensively plot beforehand, it’s mostly a matter of getting from point A to B, then B to C, and so on.

      Liked by 1 person

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