Okay Dan, I’m going to share my deep dark secret with you. I suck (I mean it, it’s not one of those we’re our own worst critics moments) at writing novels, books, I mean it’s horrible. I’ve tried. I have. I’ve put my heart and my soul and every microbe of my being into it and the outcome has always been the same. I suck.

You know, I think my problem is that I’m incapable of dragging anything out. Seriously. Even when my husband tries to argue with me three minutes later I’m like, we still have to talk about this?

Now, can I write 50,000 words in a month? Oh yeah. I spit out 2000+ words a day, easy…in the form of short stories and essays where I do not have to drag out one subject for 250 pages.

I still participate in NaNoWriMo every year. I CHEAT. I TOTALLY CHEAT. I never get the useless digital badge for winning but I still win, every year. I write novellas instead of novels. My novella writing is top notch (by that I mean bearable) and I can definitely write a story that’s 18,000 to 25,000 words and other people read it without stabbing their own eyes out, vomiting or never speaking to me again which is usually what happens when I attempt to write a story more than 25,000 words. Yeah.

You’re not forced to write a novel. You have the power to write whatever you want to. I like to believe the objective is to set a goal and reach it. The idea is to have a start and finish point. Write a 5,000 word story, take a picture every day and write a paragraph about it. Go all Stephen King and write a 900 page novel (though I do not promote this option).

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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