Here’s a 1-year action plan for writing your novel

Learn more about Tim

If I told you that you could be a published author by this time next year, what would you say?

a) That’s exactly what I was thinking!
b) I plan to buckle down and finish it even sooner
c) You’re out of your mind

What did you answer?

For you a) and b)-ers: Great! One year is a realistic time frame for writing a novel, and it is not uncommon for it to take even less time. But, you may be wondering, exactly how long will it take me?

Your Daily Action Calendar, which will be available June 1st, can answer that for you.

The Daily Action Calendar takes into account your writing schedule and pace, and gives you a good estimate for a book release date. Just answer a few questions, and you’ll instantly have a step-by-step action plan for your novel—from writing to revising to self-publishing it onto the virtual shelves of Amazon, and even the real shelves of your local bookstore.

Sound good? Be the first in line when you pre-enroll here.

By the way, if you answered c), please note: I’m not! To be sure, a novel is a big project, but with the Daily Action Calendar, you’ll have each day planned out for you—and you’ll still be able to work at your own pace. This makes the project feel more manageable, and most of all—with a target release date to shoot for—realistic.

While there are reasons some novels really will take longer to write—extensive research, for example—sometimes we (subconsciously) come up excuses for taking our sweet time. Procrastination (“I don’t have time right now”), writer’s block (“I have no good ideas”), or simply the belief that a novel can’t be of any quality if it takes less than [insert arbitrary time frame here], can often be traced back to fear. Fear of not following through, fear of criticism, and even fear of succeeding and becoming a big name (this may seem counterintuitive, but it can definitely be a scary thought because it’s a big life change!) are all common.

Fortunately, these fears can be overcome by making a commitment to yourself, making a commitment to your writing, and embracing all the ups and downs of the coming journey.

And the Daily Action Calendar will be there for you each day along the way. I’ll also e-mail you weekly progress reports, send you writing prompts, and share motivational messages to keep you going. You’ll have a Success Journal to help you stay positive, and you’ll meet other writers who are on the same path.

It’s all part of the (brand new) Better Writers Club.

It launches June 1st, but I encourage you to take the first step now by pre-enrolling in the Club.

Then pour a fresh cup of coffee, head to your writing nook, and celebrate your bright writing future!

I’m Timothy Pike, self-publishing and productivity coach specializing in helping you publish beautiful books on Amazon and in your local bookstore. The (brand new) Better Writers Club launches June 1st, and you’ll be able to pre-enroll soon with an invite code, which you can request here.

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“I lost my will to write.” How this author bounced back and became an award winner

Writers Who Are Making It Happen: Kaitlyn Abdou

Welcome to the first installment of Writers Who Are Making It Happen, where I feature writers who, quite frankly, don’t mess around. These determined novelists aren’t just talking the talk, they’re walking the walk. Anyone can say, “I want to write a novel,” but it takes a certain kind of writer to actually do it. These brave souls are telling fear and self-doubt where to go, receiving valuable feedback on ChapterBuzz, and steadily venturing into the exciting world of writing success. Becoming a published author requires commitment, dedication, and enthusiasm. These are the writers who are making it happen!

(Want to make it happen for yourself? Join us in the Better Writers Club.)

Award-winning author Kaitlyn Abdou

This is quite a promising year for Kaitlyn Abdou and the fantasy novel she’s currently in the throes of writing, The Daffodil Witch.

In March, she was the recipient of the Challenge Choice Award in the 10K Social Writing Challenge at ChapterBuzz. It was a well-deserved win for all her hard work during a demanding writing month. Nevertheless, she says, “being acknowledged on ChapterBuzz was a huge boost to my confidence in writing.”

Now, she’s amazed at how quickly it’s all happening.

“I’m already working on my query letter for an editor who expressed interest in reading my manuscript,” she says. “For me, things seem to be moving faster than I can keep up with!”

According to Kaitlyn, The Daffodil Witch started out as a joke. “But then the characters came and the story developed further,” she says. “A romance angle was added, and then a love triangle, and a plot began to form.”

This is how her stories tend to unfold. For Kaitlyn, it all starts with putting her characters in stressful situations and seeing how they react. “I like for my characters to develop organically,” she explains.


In third grade, Kaitlyn jumped right into The Hunchback of Notre Dame—you know, light grade-school reading—and discovered it differed slightly from the animated Disney film.


And it doesn’t get any more organic than Kaitlyn’s very first method of storytelling: Barbie dolls. “There were villains, heroes, princesses, complex plots,” she tells me. “I would have a single doll plot line go on for weeks.”

Then came the transition from dolls to the written word. In third grade, after Kaitlyn flat out refused to read the assigned books, her teacher struck a deal with her. She’d allow Kaitlyn to skip the assigned books if, in their place, she read a chapter novel. Naturally, Kaitlyn jumped right into The Hunchback of Notre Dame—you know, light grade-school reading—and once she got over the shock of discovering that it differed slightly from the animated Disney version that had recently come out, she wrote a book report on it and received full credit.

But Kaitlyn’s literary background wasn’t sculpted solely by Barbie and Quasimodo. “I credit Jane Austen with teaching me how to write,” she says. “I became obsessed with her books and trying to be just like her.”

In that regard, it looks like Kaitlyn’s well on her way! But no writing journey would be complete without a difficult stretch.


“The surest way to prevent feelings of regret,” this award-winning author says, “is to never let fear hold me back.”


Kaitlyn recounts a time when all she wanted to do was throw in the towel. After losing her entire manuscript in a computer crash several years ago, she couldn’t bring herself to write anything for a long time. “I lost my will to write,” she says. “Once I got over the loss, the excuses came. ‘I don’t have time’ was the biggest one.”

Computer crashes are serious business, but in the end, I think we’re the ones who lost out—especially considering that what vanished forever was “a twisted retelling of Snow White.” Care to, uh, take that up again, Kaitlyn?

As you can imagine, Kaitlyn backs up her work a lot more now, but some fears linger. Like many of us, she admits to being apprehensive of receiving feedback. “My biggest fear is getting feedback from people who know what good writing is,” she says. Her solution? “I got over it by holding my breath and hitting the send button.”

“The surest way to prevent feelings of regret,” she says, “is to never let fear hold me back.”

Put that way, it sounds so simple.

“Unless,” she hastens to add, “we are talking about skydiving. That I won’t do.”

Show Kaitlyn some love by commenting below and sharing this article on Facebook!


I’m Timothy Pike, self-publishing and productivity coach specializing in helping you publish beautiful books on Amazon and in your local bookstore. The (brand new) Better Writers Club launches June 1st, and you’ll be able to pre-enroll soon with an invite code, which you can request here.

The writing life of your dreams, in 3 easy steps

The life you’ve imagined: it is possible, and it is within your reach.

Starting June 1st, your writing dreams are more achievable than ever.

Feel free to share this picture!

I’m Timothy Pike, self-publishing and productivity coach specializing in helping you publish beautiful books on Amazon and in your local bookstore. The (brand new) Better Writers Club launches June 1st, and you’ll be able to pre-enroll soon with an invite code, which you can request here.

Writers! Success is all about sharing and caring

Learn more about TimToday, I’d like to talk about sharing your writing journey as a novelist, whether you’re currently working on your first book, or your tenth.

First, why on earth would you want to let others into your writing world? Isn’t writing something you do alone?

Sure, the act of putting words on paper is usually a solitary activity. But the journey doesn’t have to be.

Scratch that: shouldn’t be.

The whole point, ultimately, of writing a book is for others to read and enjoy it, right? Well, the path to get there shouldn’t be any different. Getting involved in a community of like-minded (and determined) writers can do wonders for your motivation and morale.

But it’s more than just a sense of community and support—you, too, have a lot of influence on other writers, whether you know it or not. Even writers who are slightly behind you in their writing journeys will look to you—Someone Who Has Gone Before—for inspiration and direction.

What’s the simplest way to foster this upward spiral of positivity? A Success Journal.

A Success Journal is a powerful way to announce your victories and share your triumphs, even the little ones. When you write down all of your small “wins” throughout the day, you’ll begin to focus on what’s going right in your life.

Wrote 100 words today? That’s a success! Finished a chapter? That’s an incredible milestone. Got some ideas flowing while you were out on a stroll? Write that down, because every breakthrough is important.

Fortunately, I’m making it very easy for you to get started.

You don’t have to go out and buy a notebook then try and hunt down a group of writers to hang out with—it all happens right here, online!

The (brand new) Better Writers Club launches in June, and I’m inviting you to be a part of it. Today, join your fellow writers and go “all in” on that novel you’re writing.

It all starts soon, so grab your invite code for the Club now!

I’m Timothy Pike, self-publishing and productivity coach specializing in helping you publish beautiful books on Amazon and in your local bookstore. The (brand new) Better Writers Club launches June 1st, and you’ll be able to pre-enroll soon with an invite code, which you can request here.

The #1 reason writers give up on their novels

Learn more about Tim

It’s arguably the biggest reason writers fall behind on their novels—and eventually give up: they feel overwhelmed.

As a writer, have you ever felt like there was just too much work ahead of you? Not been sure where to go next? Or simply not known where to start?

I’ll put it aside, you think, and come back to it later.

Then, later comes and you still aren’t sure what to do.

Totally understandable. It’s a big project! But if you have a road map, with simple steps to take each day, it makes all the difference.

The all-new Daily Action Calendar can help! Answer a few questions about when and how much you can work, and you’ll instantly have a day-by-day plan for the next several months, along with a realistic release date to shoot for.

In other words, peace of mind.

Daily e-mails and weekly progress reports keep you on track. From writing your novel, to revising it, to self-publishing it as a beautiful book, your entire journey is planned out for you.

It’s all part of the Better Writers Club, where you’ll also meet other writers who are serious about becoming—or already are—published authors.

Move your writing career forward in a major way!

It all starts here:
Get your invite code

By signing up, you’ll be the first to know when the doors swing open for pre-enrollment so you won’t miss a thing.

The (brand new) Better Writers Club launches June 1st, so get in now!

I’m Timothy Pike, self-publishing and productivity coach specializing in helping you publish beautiful books on Amazon and in your local bookstore. The (brand new) Better Writers Club launches June 1st, and you’ll be able to pre-enroll soon with an invite code, which you can request here.

5 reasons NOW is the best time to start writing a novel

Learn more about TimYour ideal life involves writing, and lots of it. You would quit your day job and write full time in a heartbeat. If you suddenly found yourself at a sidewalk cafe in Paris, you’d nearly forget about your coffee and croissant as you filled up notebook after notebook with ideas for stories, characters, and plot twists.

If this sounds like you, it’s high time you dug your heels in, got your hands dirty, and started putting that novel together. You know, that one you’ve always dreamed of writing?

Here are 5 reasons you should start today.

1. You want this. Everyone knows what a phenomenal achievement it is to become a published author. You’re serious about writing success—so serious, in fact, you can almost taste it—and in your mind, you’re already regaling a crowd of fans at your first book signing.

2. It’s either heating up or cooling down. Depending on where you live in the world, temperatures are trending sharply in one direction—meaning you may be more inclined to spend time indoors. So pour yourself a [season-appropriate beverage], settle in, and let your imagination take you to the faraway world where your characters live, and it’s a lot cooler. Or warmer.

3. You get a holiday release. The time it takes to write a novel is all across the board (6 weeks for A Christmas Carol, 10 years for Gone with the Wind), but a time frame of one year is pretty common, and very manageable. If you finish by this time next year, you’ll be right on track for a holiday release of your self-published book. Just the time of year when everyone’s in a buying and giving mood—wink, wink!

Side note: wondering exactly how long it will take you? Here I explain the Daily Action Calendar, which personalizes your work schedule and gives you a realistic release date, at a pace you’re comfortable with.

4. You have plenty of help. Don’t go it alone! It just so happens that the (brand new) Better Writers Club is launching on June 1st, which means you’ll be in good company as you write. While your Daily Action Calendar keeps you on track, your Success Journal will keep you aiming high, and the talented, welcoming writers we have in our group will keep you encouraged.

Sign up here to be the first to know when the Club opens for registration!

And lastly…

5. You’re ready. Quite simply, it’s time because it’s time. You’ve been dreaming about writing & publishing a novel for a while now, and this is your moment. You’ve got great ideas for your book, and you know people will love it—if only they could read it. So what are you waiting for?

Take that first step!

I’m Timothy Pike, self-publishing and productivity coach specializing in helping you publish beautiful books on Amazon and in your local bookstore. The (brand new) Better Writers Club launches June 1st, and you’ll be able to pre-enroll soon with an invite code, which you can request here.

A success journal for your writing? It may seem odd, but it works. Very well.

Learn more about TimAre you familiar with the concept of a success journal?

If not, hang onto your hat, because I’m about to throw something at you that could completely transform the way you approach writing—and your day-to-day life.

Please read this to the end, because I’d love to hear your comments.

Far too easily, we as writers can fall into a thought pattern of negativity, sometimes without even realizing it.

Here’s how it happens: you’re riding high, feeling really good about what you’re writing, and enjoying a long string of productive days.

And then.

You hit a bump in the road. You discover a plot hole that you’re not sure how to fix, someone says something that brings you down, or you just have a bad day.

Suddenly the negative thoughts come flooding in: I’m never going to finish this. It was a stupid idea to begin with. Come to think of it, my writing isn’t all that good.

This is normal, in that it happens to all of us. But it’s an incredibly destructive thought pattern, and your goal should be to break out of it as quickly as possible.

That’s where the success journal comes in: it’s the simple—but powerful—idea of sitting down in the evening and writing out what you achieved during the day.

What does this do? It completely flips your internal narrative: suddenly you’re focusing on the positive, instead of dwelling on the negative.

At this point you may be thinking, But I don’t have that many things to celebrate each day!

I beg to differ. Remember, it’s the little stuff.

Maybe you had a flash of inspiration about how to end a chapter. Maybe a family member complimented your work. Or maybe you simply showed up in your writing nook this morning even though you were tempted to sleep in.

All of these are successes! And that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

I became a success junkie when I started doing this. Writing in my success journal became like a hit of a drug: I had to have it. So I started going around doing things just so I could write them down later. When they say that success begets more success, they’re not kidding!

Ready to start your success journal? Here’s how.

This could be done with a small notebook, locked away in a desk drawer for your eyes only.

Or…

It can be shared with a group!

Specifically, the (brand new) Better Writers Club. Yesterday, I talked about how something as simple as a Daily Action Calendar can help you plan out the entire novel writing and publishing process.

Today, I want to drive home the importance of not just taking action, but recognizing how incredibly powerful each small step is, and allowing yourself to feel pride in what you accomplish each day, even if it seems insignificant at the time.

Great achievements, after all, are made up entirely of the smallest, most “insignificant” steps.

What’s more, when you share, your success will inspire others, creating an upward spiral of positivity.

Jump on this opportunity to supercharge your novel-writing efforts, and inject new excitement into your writing life. The new Club launches June 1st!

Here’s where to get your invite code:
eepurl.com/dfXnAP (it’s a MailChimp form)

Now, let’s hear your comments…

Have you ever kept a success journal and seen positive results? Thinking about starting one now? Let us know!

Even if you’ve tried keeping a success journal before, this is a good time to start up again. Get your invite code here for the (brand new) Better Writers Club, and buckle up for an exciting journey!

I’m Timothy Pike, self-publishing and productivity coach specializing in helping you publish beautiful books on Amazon and in your local bookstore. The (brand new) Better Writers Club launches June 1st, and you’ll be able to pre-enroll soon with an invite code, which you can request here.