To be a successful writer, how many words must you write every day?

Learn more about TimMany successful novelists, when asked how they did it, will talk about how driven they were to write at least 1,000 words a day. 1,500 words. 3,000 words. Every day, without fail.

That’s certainly one way to do it, but what about that little thing called “life” that for the rest of us, always seems to be getting in the way?

Here’s an easy way to get around that: the 20-Year Novel Club at ChapterBuzz.

Life won’t have a chance to get in the way—because all you have to do is sit down in the morning and write 10 words. Some days you’ll write more, of course, but as long as you’re there every day, ready to write, you’ve already succeeded.

They say 80% of success is just showing up, and that’s the whole idea behind the Club.

Little by little, day by day, you’ll find that your word counts are adding up. Pretty soon, you have a whole chapter written! And your readers like it! Now, start in on Chapter 2.

Make steady progress, meet other writers, and read what others are writing while you work on your novel. The Club is also great motivation to start sharing your own work, even if that scares you a little.

This doesn’t happen everywhere, but it’s happening now in the 20-Year Novel Club. Join us today!

Sharing your writing with the world…do you dare?

Learn more about Tim

I thought I had writer’s block, but I was simply worried that I had nothing to say. When I put my work out there, I was surprised when people liked it.
—Author Shirley Holder Platt

Ever get a little nervous wondering what people will think of your novel? Many of us do.

At first, it can be a scary prospect.

But eventually, your idea will see the light of day, your novel will be out there for all to read.

And you’ll realize you had nothing to be worried about all along.

The best way to do it? Just do it! Here’s a great way to start: join us in the 20-Year Novel Club, where we’re posting our chapters, giving each other feedback, and sharing our writing knowledge.

It’s an easy way to connect with other writers and get motivated to write every day.

Come on in, the water’s fine!

When telling a story, avoid “head hopping” – it can confuse your readers!

Learn more about TimSure, we are dedicated to writing at least 10 words a day as members of the 20-Year Novel Club. And of course, we keep cranking out new chapters and sharing them with each other.

But that’s not all the Club is about.

We’re also sharing our experience with writing and life—via quotes.

Tier IV Rising Star Author L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)Today’s quote comes from one of our top writers, Tier IV Rising Star Author L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.), author of Love, Or Something Like It and WARNO: Critical Ploy:

“I’ve learned that “author omniscient” is not always the best point of view because it can lead to “head hopping,” which can be confusing to the reader. Pick one POV and stick with it, and if you need to switch, use a change in scene to indicate the switch.”

—L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)

Now, we’d like to hear YOUR writing tips and advice! Join the Club and share them with us.

Here’s what we’re already doing in the 20-Year Novel Club:

  • Making steady progress on our novels every single day
  • Getting more exposure for our work
  • Meeting motivated writers who push us to write more
  • Discussing topics related to life & writing (coming soon!)
  • Publishing that book as soon as it’s done!

Join us today!

Writer’s block? It may just be worry

Learn more about TimThe 20-Year Novel Club is about much more than just making progress on your novel every day.

It’s also about sharing things we’ve learned about life & writing with each other.

Award-winning author Shirley Holder PlattToday’s quote comes from one of our top writers, Tier V Rising Star Author Shirley Holder Platt, award-winning author of Mama Needs New Shoes and Moon Dance:

“I thought I had writer’s block, but I was simply worried that I had nothing to say. When I put my work out there, I was surprised when people liked it.”

—Shirley Holder Platt

What’s something you’ve learned or realized along the way? Join the Club and share! Learning from each other helps all of us.

As a member of the 20-Year Novel Club, you can also:

  • Make steady progress on your novel every single day
  • Get more exposure for your novel
  • Meet motivated writers who will push you to write more
  • Discuss topics related to life & writing
  • Publish that book as soon as it’s done!

Share your wisdom with us…join us today in the 20-Year Novel Club!

Can I quote you on that? Your life & writing wisdom is needed

Learn more about TimWhat have you learned about writing, or about life, that you’d like to share with your fellow writers?

And can I quote you on that?

The best part of being in a writing group like the 20-Year Novel Club is that we all help each other out—which also means motivating each other to achieve new heights in our writing.

So what kind of quotes are we looking for?

It could be…

  • A trick that works for you
  • A challenge or struggle you overcame
  • A lesson you learned
  • Practical tips & advice
  • General encouragement

On topics like…

  • Writer’s block
  • Rejection
  • Confidence in writing skills
  • Juggling life & writing
  • Publishing your book(s)

These are just a few ideas to get the wheels turning, but obviously there’s much more to life and writing, so I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Join us, and be a part of something larger as you write your novel!

How to submit your quote:

  1. First, join us in the 20-Year Novel Club
  2. Next, submit your quote here
  3. That’s it! I’ll share it with everyone and give you credit.

Happy writing,

A month full of new routines…and full of new books!

Books & Buzz Magazine, April 2020, Volume 2 Issue 8

This is an excerpt from the latest issue of Books & Buzz Magazine:

A Letter from the Editor
by Timothy Pike

Welcome to life in 2020, where everyone is at least two dog lengths away, your Netflix membership suddenly seems like the best investment you’ve ever made, and virtual happy hours with friends make you feel like a contestant on Hollywood Squares.

Going a little stir crazy this month? Read one of our exciting published books on ChapterBuzz! Or check out the books that have been trending lately. Many are works-in-progress, which means this is your chance to give the authors some input before their books go to press.

If you’re an author, and you’re writing a novel, you may have found that setting small, manageable goals each day makes you much more likely to achieve them. That’s the idea behind the 20-Year Novel Club, where a group of writers who have pledged to continually move forward on their novels are writing 10 words every single day—at a minimum. Since the Club opened its doors last week, those who have sat down with the intention of writing just 10 words have been posting much larger word counts.

Join us in the Club and experience the thrill of making progress every day!

Now that you’re hopefully a member of the Club, let’s take a look at what’s inside this issue:

Author Alexis Cunningham, winner of the Fan Favorite Award in October 2019’s 10K Novel-Building Challenge, shares the first chapter of her fantasy work-in-progress, The Gods’ Own. In it, we’re introduced to Yasha Alukov, a street conjuror who’s about to be released from prison—and ready to get even with the rival who put him in there. Find out what happens as this exciting story unfolds.

Next, like many of us, author Shirley Holder Platt, Tier V Rising Star Author and two-time Challenge winner, is feeling the effects of the global pandemic that has kept us in our homes and given us plenty to be concerned about. “COVID-19 has stopped me cold,” she says. “I have a friend in the hospital with it. I hear horrific death counts, and I simply can’t write.” The thing is, so many of us are feeling the same way. You’re not alone, and what Shirley is doing to deal with her new normal might work for you, too.

Finally, on a trip to the grocery store last month, award-winning author Tiffany S. Doran went into a bookstore that still happened to be open—just before such establishments were ordered to pack it in for the foreseeable future—and came back out with no fewer than three books, including her new favorite read, The Bookwanderers by Anna James, which actually inspired this month’s article. “Instead of being remembered as a blank page,” says Tiffany, “be remembered for everything you’ve written.” In her column, Tiffany explains why this book resonated so well with her.

And this month’s cover author is Patricia Robin Woodruff, who is practically buried in research notes on Slavic goddesses, gods, and magic, as well as religions predating Christianity by many millenia. Currently, she’s pursuing her PhD in metaphysical sciences while making groundbreaking discoveries along the way—and writing it all down in her five-part series, The Roots of Slavic Magic. In her feature article, find out where in the world her research has taken her, the surprisingly simple secret that helps her avoid feeling overwhelmed, and why she carries an old food stamp in her pocketbook wherever she goes.

Take heart, writers and readers. Each new day seems to bring more good news, and the light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter with every passing week. In the meantime, as you continue to adapt to your new routine, be sure to carve a few minutes out of your day to sit back, take a load off, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

How long have you been working on your novel?

Learn more about TimQuestion for all you writers out there:

How long have you been working on your latest (or very first) novel?

For writers in the brand-new 20-Year Novel Club, this is a question that might get a wide variety of responses.

The Club is for writers who want an easy way to get motivated to write, meet other writers to discuss their projects, and share their progress each and every day. (You’re still welcome to join us if this sounds like you.)

No matter how long it takes you to write your novel, it will be an incredible achievement on your part. If it takes you a year, that’s amazing. If it takes you 20 years, you’re in good company: see my blog post about how Michael Crichton invested 20 years in writing his novel Sphere.

So, let us know in the comments below: How long have you been working on your novel, and when do you think you might be finished?

If you’re a total newbie, we’d like to hear from you, too!

How long does it take to write a novel? For Michael Crichton, 20 years

Have you ever read Sphere by Michael Crichton? Pretty good book, huh?

I’ll bet you didn’t know that it took him 20 years to write it, though. I didn’t either until I read this article about books that took a long time to write. Here’s what I found out:

…it is his novel Sphere that took the longest to complete. According to Crichton, after he started the novel and wrote a part of it, he couldn’t come up with a good ending, so he stopped writing. Twenty years later he resumed his writing and completed it in only two months.

In the same article, I learned that depending on how you measure it, it took J.R.R. Tolkien up to 17 years to see The Lord of the Rings through to publication. Talk about persistence!

Of course, you’d like to finish yours sooner than two decades from now. Probably much sooner.

So why would I invite you to join a writing group called the 20-Year Novel Club, and encourage you to only write 10 words a day?

It’s—shhh!—a trick of the mind.

You see, when you wake up each day knowing that all you need to do is write 10 words, you’re much more motivated to do it.

Of course, it’s just 10 words, but what happens next is powerful: once you take that small step forward, your mind, feeling perked up, will say, You know what? Let’s do a little more.

A little more turns into a little more, and pretty soon you’re racing past 100…1,000…and still going strong!

Other days, not so much. 10 words will be about all you can do. And that’s okay.

As long as you showed up, sat down, and made the attempt to write, you can feel great about what you accomplished. Even if your grand total for the day was just 10 words.

Join us in the 20-Year Novel Club, and say goodbye to self-defeating pressure, writer’s block, and discouragement—and say hello to making a daily habit of writing, connecting with other writers, and seeing progress on your novel every single day!

We’re kicking things off this Monday, so join the 20-Year Novel Club now while the joinin’s good!

Join the party! (No social distancing required)

Show this pandemic who’s boss and come meet your fellow writers in the brand-new 20-Year Novel Club!

We’re getting together online—starting Monday—to motivate each other to sit down and write every single day.

This is your chance to build your writing network, check out what everyone else is working on, and make progress on your own novel at the same time.

There’s really no better time to get in on the ground floor of this brand-new writing club than this month, when many of us have more time at home than we know what to do with.

The 20-Year Novel Club is a powerful way to get amped about that novel you’ve always wanted to write—or the one you’re halfway finished with.

You’ll write every single day—even if it’s just 10 words—and connect with people around the world who are serious about writing, too.

The Club is all about…

  • Meeting motivated writers who will push you to write more
  • Making progress on your novel every single day
  • Sharing your story as it takes shape
  • Getting helpful feedback on your work
  • Publishing that book as soon as it’s done!

Bring your favorite brewed beverage—spiked if you want—and let’s get this party started!

Staying inside all month? Let our books save you from boredom

Books & Buzz Magazine, March 2020, Volume 2 Issue 7

This is an excerpt from the latest issue of Books & Buzz Magazine:

A Letter from the Editor
by Timothy Pike

If you’re like most of us, you’ve been spending a lot of time indoors lately.

Fortunately, both our readers and writers have been making the most of it. The 10K Novel-Building Challenge, where participants race to write 10,000 words and help each other improve their novels, is wrapping up. Three outstanding authors will soon be receiving awards to recognize their hard work.

For readers, that means there are more chapters to Buzz, more completed first drafts to dig into, and more published books making their way into our Hot Off the Press section!

And with the end of the Challenge comes the beginning of our new writing group, the 20-Year Novel Club, currently welcoming any newbie novelists—or published authors—who want to stay motivated to write every single day. If you’re a writer looking to get crackin’ on your novel, join us now and be one of our charter members.

I know you can’t wait a minute longer to devour the tasty morsels we’re serving up in this issue, so let’s have a look at the menu:

In her Art & Soul column, author and poet Allison Marie Conway describes the intimacy of a quiet, snowy morning. “The sweet silence of morning as the coffee brews,” she writes, “and you stand watching out the window as the squirrels scamper and flit across the frozen ground.” Her piece is crafted with such sensual intensity, you’ll be hanging on every word.

Next, if you’ve ever wondered whether to put a period inside or outside a set of parentheses—or needed a good trick to remember “you’re” vs. “your”—columnist Shirley Holder Platt, Tier V Rising Star Author at ChapterBuzz, has you covered. As she claws into the nuances of the tricky traits and slippery syntax of the English language, Shirley also answers the age-old question, when would an ellipsis have 4 dots instead of 3?

Finally, I’m excited to introduce Lorene Albers, Tier III Newcomer Author, who explains in her debut column how not to take criticism personally, and instead use it to improve your story. “Don’t look at critiques as a personal affront,” Lorene writes. “Instead, welcome them as stepping stones that elevate your writing to the next level.” Conversely, if you’re the one offering feedback, Lorene has some helpful advice for you as well.

On the cover this month is Patricia Elliott, a British Columbia–based romance author who found herself at a low point in her writing career and managed not just to lift herself out, but also become a better writer and learn some life lessons in the process. Patricia recently sat down to tell me all about how she wrote her first novel on her breaks at work, why staring at a blank page for twenty minutes often helps, and why she enjoys “mermaiding” so much.

As you continue to get to know the interior of your home much better than you ever thought you would, sprawl out on your couch for a spell and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine