Kelly Flowers


How NOT To Write A Novel – No Pressure, No Progress


Writing, for most, is not their day job. I do write for a living and therefore feel entitled to this sketchy analogy.

Writing for work (aka your day job) and writing for fun (aka your literary masterpiece) are like having a child or a puppy, respectively. With your child, you have a schedule. School, dentists, doctors and soccer games. If you don’t make your deadlines, you’ll have CPS or a truancy board after you.

But your novel is like a puppy. It was a choice that brings you great joy and anguish and tests your discipline and resolve. And you can be as diligent as you want (as long as you feed it) If you do a lazy job raising your puppy, you’ll just have a jerk of a dog.

After a long day of parenting, training a puppy doesn’t rank high on the joy list. Just as, after a long day of work, carving out a couple hours to work on our manuscript sounds exhausting (especially if you’re STILL editing 😞)

It’s easy to put it off. And then put it off again. Because there’s always tomorrow, right?

Welllllll, let me tell you the difference between work writing and hobby writing for me.



This is great if you are UBER disciplined. You have probably already put yourself on a schedule. You’re probably already adhering to your deadlines. (Good. For. You.) and (Whatever.)

But if you’re like me, I promise myself I’m DEFINITELY waking up early and going to the gym first thing in the morning almost every single day. And then I press the snooze button because no one will know the difference. 

What I require to keep a deadline is EXTERNAL PRESSURE, accountability, basically stress. For me, that is my writing critique group. I know that I need completed work every Tuesday or I’m the slacker who doesn’t take her task seriously.

But there are lots of ways to force yourself into a corner like this. Commit to a submission. Tell close friends to harass you for your progress. There are even websites that act as your automated nagging spouse. 🙂
Now, if I just had deadlines for posting personal blogs… amirite? 



5 thoughts on “How NOT To Write A Novel – No Pressure, No Progress

  1. I’m terrible when it comes to personal deadlines, but thankfully when it comes to my coursework or freelance jobs, I can safely say I’m on-point with that – if only I could do the same with the former too! Great post.


  2. External deadlines = motivation to finish. Couldn’t have said it better. You make some great points, thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s