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

Now’s the perfect time to start on that novel

Learn more about TimWith much of the world homebound these days, now is the perfect time to start writing your novel—or pull that half-finished manuscript out of the drawer and dust it off.

Except the last thing many of us need right now is even more solitude.

That’s one of the many reasons I created the 20-Year Novel Club, and I’m hoping you’ll join us!

As a Club member, you’ll be able to meet and connect with other writers who are as dedicated as you are to finishing their novels—while easily making progress every single day on your story.

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 work as your story takes shape
  • Earning “Fame Points” to help you rise to the top and stand out
  • Publishing that book as soon as it’s done!

At a time when many of us are feeling isolated, it’s nice to be a part of a group of writers who want to stay motivated and encourage each other to press on toward achieving their writing goals.

Learn more & join the Club here. I look forward to welcoming you!

Writing 10 words a day keeps the “give-ups” away

Learn more about TimWriting a novel can be an exercise in patience, as you may already know.

But the danger when writing a novel is that if you lose momentum, you’ll put your story on the back burner—or worse, stop writing altogether.

That’s why I created the 20-Year Novel Club.

Your goal, as a member of the Club, is to write 10 words a day. Yes, just 10!

Some days you’ll write more, of course, but as long as you write 10 words, you can feel great that you’ve done something to make progress.

Do you ever have days where you feel overwhelmed? Or you can’t seem to get inspired?

Don’t let these feelings destroy all the good habits you’ve worked so hard to form!

This is where the 20-Year Novel Club can help.

When you’re part of the Club, each morning when you open your laptop to write, one of three scenarios will play out:

1. Best-case scenario.

You’ll sit down to write and the words will flow out onto the screen from under your tip-tapping fingertips. Awesome! You’re on a roll!

2. Next best–case scenario.

You don’t have a whole lot to add to your story today. 10 words is about the best you can do. Maybe you looked back through a paragraph and added ten words to it—an extra adjective over here, a more fitting verb over there. Even if you simply rewrite an existing 10-word sentence, that still counts!


3. It’s not happening.

If you are just not feeling it today, that’s okay! You still showed up, you still tried to write. That’s what’s important, that you did something. Even if those 10 words are “I am not feeling inspired enough to write much today,” that’s okay.

Each of these scenarios is perfectly fine. Remember: the whole point is to show up.

If you can do that, you will be successful in the 20-Year Novel Club.


All that’s left is for you to join us!

3 reasons to get into this writing club on the ground floor!

Learn more about TimA brand-new writing club is rolling into town, and you’re invited.

Get in on the ground floor of the 20-Year Novel Club, and discover a powerful new way to supercharge your writing.

I’ve got 3 reasons for you to join us:

1. Make progress on your novel every day. All you need to do is sit down and write 10 words each day. (Even though it would take you 20 years to write your novel if you only wrote 10 words a day, I’m willing to bet that most days you’ll write more. Sometimes, much more!)

2. Meet your fellow writers. We’re all in this together! Enjoy making new connections (or even personal friendships), and check out what everyone else is working on. There are plenty of exciting stories taking shape.

3. Move up the Charts. Your book (even when it’s a work-in-progress) could soar up into our Top 20 Books of All Time as other Club members read & enjoy your latest chapters.

Plus, you can really stand out in the Club when you record your progress each day, and earn tons of “Fame Points” for doing this. (If you’re already a ChapterBuzz member, you’ll know what this means!)

Oh, almost forgot…reason #4: it’s free.

We’d love to see you in the Club. Come see what all the hype is about!

Want to write a novel? Plan on 20 years

Learn more about TimIf you’d like to write a novel, plan on it taking 20 years.

Just kidding!

Sort of. Let me explain…

The 20-Year Novel Club is a brand-new writing group with one goal: to write 10 words a day.

No need to dig around for a calculator…because I’ve done the math for you: if you wrote 10 words every single day, it would take about 20 years to write an entire novel.

Of course, if you literally wrote your entire novel 10 words at a time, your story would look like a patchwork quilt.

It probably wouldn’t make much sense. It wouldn’t flow from one sentence to the next.

That’s why 10 words is just the bare minimum each day. The hope, however, is that whenever you sit down to write your 10 words, more will come.

Some days, many more.

You see, the 20-Year Novel Club is about much more than just 10 words a day.

It’s about showing up.

It’s about waking up each morning with the intention to write.

It’s about dedicating yourself to sitting down and taking only a minute or two to tap out 10 words…

…knowing that on any given day, those 10 words might just open the floodgates! Join us today