Write a novel in a month…? Are you mad?


Today marks the start of a new phase of the writing journey. I changed my LinkedIn profile from ‘educator’ to ‘writer’ to reflect this. Some time ago some dear friends gave me a couple of books, by way of supporting me in my quest to write. One in particular ‘No Plot,? No Problem!’ by Chris Batty has been well read and is the source of great advice. I have devoured writers advice from so many angles and perhaps that has been part of the issue – taking too much advice you start to get conflicting approaches and confusing information. What I liked about Chris’s approach, was that writing – in whatever format – is all good practice. He is the founder of the National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) and while this event historically takes place (for good reason) during the dreary month of November, the concept of writing a novel in 30 days can be applied at any time of the year if the writer has the motivation. So here we go… this is my month. The writing I am currently doing seems to have taken a life of its own, something I wasn’t quite expecting. Planned characters that I thought were going to have certain personality traits are moving in different directions. Initially I was a little cross about this, but in amongst the advice I was reading came the notion that in the same way writers change character names because they don’t feel ‘right’, characters can also take the writer in directions they hadn’t planned for. 

The other issue I encountered, was that leaving too long gaps between writing periods meant that I found myself spending too long reading what I had written, to remind myself of the flow and back into the right mindset, that I was actually editing as I went along. Chris’s approach with NaNoWriMo was that daily writing phases would eliminate this recap time and allow for editing at the end of the period. I’m under no illusion…. this won’t be a best seller, but the thing I have come to realise… lots of writing = better writing. So I best get started.

Oh and there’s the small matter of needing to hit a 50,000+ word target by the end of the month!!

So, while the sun streams through the dining room window and I can hear the children at the local school enjoying their lunchtime break, I must press on. I have a novel to write…

MJ xx

For more information about the National Novel Writing Month: http://nanowrimo.org/

4 thoughts on “Write a novel in a month…? Are you mad?

  1. Kate M. Colby

    Good luck with your novel! Also, that’s very exciting that you officially made the career change to “writer.” I love seeing other writers reach that goal, because it gives me confidence that I can, too, one day.


    1. mjhadlow Post author

      Thanks Kate. From the look of your blog/website, you’re further down the line than me! I am excited to formally embark on my writing adventure, after 18 years in education. I guess a need to eat/provide for the children/generally live will see me take some paid work, but hopefully not before I have laid the writing foundations… and anyway, the Spring weather here is wonderful, I’ll enjoy it a little while longer!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynne

    There is a time for everything, and a reason. You have both, plus talent, enthusiasm, grit and determination. You go girl!! X



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