Here are exactly 4 (of the best) reasons you should be writing a novel

Learn more about TimEveryone has their own reasons for wanting to write a novel.

And after years of talking to, working with, and interviewing authors, I have heard just about every reason under the sun.

Some are full-time writers, others are hobbyists who have been at it for years, and still others are just dabbling.

But no matter what a writer’s level of commitment to the craft, these reasons for writing are so deep-seated, they’re a part of that writer’s very identity.

Here are 4 of the best:

1. It’s just plain fun. You know what’s fun about writing a novel? You can do anything you want with the story. Create rich settings with just the stroke of the pen, invent characters from scratch, dream up all sorts of crazy scenarios and situations and just let your characters deal with them.

All of these elements combine to take readers on a journey as they breathlessly turn the pages of the book you wrote. And we all love to see readers enjoying our stories.

2. It’s a way of life. You might be familiar with the writer’s life already. For many of us, especially those of us who have been doing this for a long time, it’s baked right in to our daily routine. Wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and let your imagination percolate over the rising steam from the mug.

There’s also something about being able to get so much done at your kitchen table, in your slippers, and practically doing a full day’s “work” before the kids are even up.

3. Sharing is caring. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my work to exist in a bubble. One of the greatest joys of producing creative work is sharing it with others, and knowing that it has entertained them, made them think, or just brightened their day a little.

A published novel is a neat, pre-packaged way of spreading that gospel, and it’s a part of your being—in physical form—that’s going to always be out there.

4. The sense of achievement. Okay, writing a great story is not just about adding value to other people’s lives. I think we can all admit there’s a little pride and self-fulfillment involved in having achieved something this big, no?

Whether or not you feel the ego boost that goes along with becoming a published author, others will see you in a different light. Maybe it’s that extra spring in your step or gleam in your eye. Who knows—but it’s a new you, for sure!

So how long does it take to write a novel, anyway? In the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge, we’re going from 0 to published book over the next 12 months. We’ll be starting the adventure next week, so join us, and let’s do this!!

What other reasons do you have for writing? I invite you to share with us in the comments below.

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge to help authors write and publish excellent books in just one year.

Start building your “World of Books” … and turn writing into a full-time income

Learn more about TimHow do some of these independent authors do it?

Make money with their books, I mean. Surely they didn’t just write a book, put it on Amazon, and watch the dough start rolling in, right?

Nope! Indeed, they invested plenty of time and energy in their writing before the money came.

And some are making a lot of money.

Sure, many of these authors make it look easy, but guess what? It wasn’t easy. They’ve been at it a while. It didn’t just happen overnight.

The fact that it does take time is actually the good news.

Why? Because it means that you can start from where you are now. Of course, the kicker is … you actually do have to get started at some point.

So if becoming a well-known author with a steady income stream sounds like the life for you, it’s something you very much can do!

Here’s how it works: First, you write a novel. Then, you go over it several times, rewriting and rewriting. Then, you publish it on Amazon.

Rinse and repeat until you have several books on the shelf! It’s challenging, but definitely do-able.

I call this an author’s “World of Books.” Once readers are in your world and enjoying the books they find there, they won’t want to leave.

But your World of Books won’t just appear one day. And laying the first brick—that is, publishing that first novel—is the hardest part.

From there, most authors will agree, it gets easier.

This is for a couple of reasons: first, you’ll have nailed down certain writing methods that you can use to write your next book with greater ease. And second, when you have two books out there on Amazon, it’s almost a two-for-one: readers enjoy one book so much, they’ll snap the other one up, too.

And if you love to write, even better, because none of this will feel like “work” much at all.

It all starts with publishing your first book, so the sooner you get started, the sooner you can start building your World of Books.

One great way to get started is in the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge, our innovative writing program very much aimed at new writers looking to break into the biz.

It’s a great way to learn the secrets of writing an excellent novel, get that book published once and for all, and meet some new writers who can help you in your journey.

We’re starting March 1st, and you’re cordially invited!

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge to help authors write and publish excellent books in just one year.

Your novel: This is the year it happens!

Learn more about TimPrediction: this is your year.

There are plenty of reasons you haven’t gotten around to finishing up your novel yet …

… and probably a number of excuses, too!

But admit it … the desire has gotten too strong, that gut feeling too powerful.

Even friends and family are asking, are you going to do this or what?

That’s when you know it’s time.

When you sense that everything inside yourself is aligned—that your thoughts, desires, and abilities all point toward making this major achievement—you know it’s time to take action.

I’m getting a small group of writers together for the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge, and you’re invited!

Together, we’re pulling out all the stops and making it happen.

Whether you’ve started writing your novel or not, this Challenge will be a year to remember. You’ll learn a lot, hone your writing skills, help others hone theirs, and build your readership.

Fast forward 365 days …

It’s time to celebrate! Seeing your first novel (or even your 10th) on the shelf is a major milestone.

As you sit down to sign the inside of that published book, while everyone else raises a glass, you’ll be taking a deep breath and looking back on all your hard work.

Either that, or you’ll be lost in thought, already planning out your next book.

Starts March 1st, and spots are limited, so take action now!

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge to help authors write and publish excellent books in just one year.

Get your writing in front of thousands of readers

Learn more about TimI want to help you get your story in front the thousands of readers in our ChapterBuzz community and this blog.

Think you’ve got a story idea that readers would love? Join us in the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge and start writing it!

In the first 30 days, we’ll work hard on putting together a first chapter that rocks.

And at the end of March, we’ll choose a winner! As the winner, you’ll be featured on this blog along with the chapter you wrote so you readers can get to know you and follow your progress as you write the rest of your book.

Want to write an exciting page turner? Want to get readers buzzing about your story? And stay motivated to get that novel written & published over the next year?

The 365-Day Indie Author Challenge starts soon, and you’re invited!

Your First Chapter + 3 Readers = You are now a novelist!

Learn more about TimI think we can all agree: there’s nothing quite like turning a dream into reality.

Especially when it’s a dream you’ve had for a long time.

And especially, especially when it’s a dream you weren’t totally sure how to get started on.

A dream like … writing a novel, perhaps?

I’m happy to say that all it takes is 30 days. That’s right … just 30 days to go from “I want to write a novel” to “I am writing my novel. I have my first chapter done, and I already have several readers!”

You’re invited to join us for this 30-day writing camp: Your First Chapter + 3 Readers.

It’s free, and it’s an easy way to Just. Get. Started.

Time is ticking, just so you know! We’re starting on March 1st, and spots are limited because I want to keep the group small.

We’ll jump into a private Facebook discussion group, help each other develop ideas, give each other feedback on what we write, and learn some of the tricks necessary for writing a great first chapter that really hooks readers and keeps them turning the pages.

In 30 days, we’ll have you up and running:

  • You’ll have a completed first chapter, and the momentum you need to keep on blazing through the rest of your novel.
  • You’ll also enjoy attention from at least 3 people who have read it … and who are looking forward to reading the next chapters you write.
  • It’s a burst of confidence … along with a fresh outlook on your writing future.

There’s no charge for this. This is a free camp.

When you make the decision to get started on writing your novel, you shift the energy within yourself. No longer are you thinking of it as a dream, but it becomes your day-to-day reality … a reality that is as exciting as it gets!

If you’d like to join us, we’ll be starting on March 1st, and you can sign up for the 30-Day Camp here. (That brings you to a MailChimp signup form that helps me keep you updated and in the loop over the next couple of weeks.)

I’m excited, and I hope you are, too!

To your success,
Tim | About Me

Improve your writing! This is the year we meet, connect, and share

Learn more about TimI want you to remember the next 365 days as a turning point in your life.

That is, as the year your writing improved in leaps and bounds, and you realized you had what it takes to be the author of a published book.

I’m looking for 15 writers to join me on the journey of a lifetime … in the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge!

As a group, we’ll keep each other motivated, give each other feedback, and help each other reach our common goal: to become independent authors, and start building that all-important readership.

Space is limited, so sign up today. In just a few clicks, you’ll go from telling people, “I’d love to write a novel” to “I am writing a novel, actually, and it’ll be published this year!”

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge to help authors write and publish excellent books in just one year.

Go from 0 to published novel … in 365 days? Yes, you will!

Learn more about TimIn 365 days, you’ll be a published, indie author with your novel available in the Kindle store for readers to download.

Sound a little far-fetched?

Not at all. I’m getting a small group of 20 writers together to prove to the world it’s possible, and I am inviting you to join us.

And not just to write a novel. To really get into it, and crank out an excellent—possibly even award-winning—novel. One you can be proud of!

The Writing Warriors

This small group of 20 are the “Writing Warriors,” and you can be a part of it. In just a couple of weeks, the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge kicks off, and I want it to be nothing short of a game changer for you.

You see, as a Writing Warrior, you will stop at nothing to achieve the goal you’ve always dreamed of: to have a published book … and a base of readers to go along with it.

You may have tried to write a novel before. Maybe you didn’t know how to get started. Maybe you got bogged down in the details halfway through. Or you got close to the finish line, but couldn’t quite reach it.

But no matter what the case, becoming a Writing Warrior is all about breaking down those barriers and leaping over the obstacles that have held you back.

If you’d like to be one of our 20 “Writing Warriors,” get in now while you can.

Signups are already rolling in, so register today. This year is going to be your year.

A year to remember

We’ll start out by connecting in our private Facebook group, introducing ourselves and getting to know each other. Then, we’ll have a few mini-contests and discussion prompts to get the creative juices flowing.

In the first 30 days, you’ll write your first chapter and share it with the group.

Stretching your comfort zone

Writing a novel is really just a mindset.

It’s about the “mind narratives” we privately tell ourselves.

When you keep telling yourself that you’ll write a novel “someday,” then “someday” will always be a ways off, and it will never get done.

But when you tell yourself you are going to start now and finish one year from now, you’ve just made it concrete.

By changing the story you privately tell yourself, you flip the script. Compare these two thoughts: “I’m going to write a novel” and “I’m going to start writing my novel right now.” It’s a different energy, right? It brings your vision into the here and now, and you can feel yourself itching to take action.

Over the coming week, pay close attention to your thoughts. Make sure you’re telling yourself the right story.

The next 365 days will be all about stretching your comfort zone and writing in ways you’ve never tried before.

And you will succeed!

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge to help authors write and publish excellent books in just one year.

A novel + an audience = a HUGE achievement!

Learn more about TimThere’s no point in writing a novel if no one’s going to read it, right?

When I work with aspiring novelists, I keep repeating this one bit of advice: Build your audience as you write.

It’s like instant feedback, knowing that what you’re doing is working.

Not to mention it feels good to be writing for someone else, not just locked up in a bubble, wondering if anyone will want to read what you’re working so hard to write.

Knowing that readers are getting into your story as it unfolds, investing in your characters’ lives, and exploring this world you’ve created … is like a shot of confidence directly in the arm.

I think this is something that’s sorely lacking these days: opportunities for writers to truly connect with an audience. I believe that writing is as much for you as it is for those who will be enjoying your work.

There’s nothing wrong with writing alone, but the problem is that most writers will hole up, only to emerge months and months, or even the next year, with a rough draft of their story, unsure of how readers will respond—or even where to find people to read it.

If that story doesn’t quite land with readers, or readers are lukewarm on it, that means going back to the drawing board and re-working the story. That’s a lot of extra effort!

One way to start building an audience from the get-go is in the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge, a great way to spend the next 12 months. It’s a highly effective way to write a novel that’s been tested in the real world, and you can do it for free.

For some, this might seem like total insanity. Letting people read my story before it’s finished? Are you crazy?

Not crazy at all! I see it happen all the time: readers falling in love with a story before it’s even published.

Quite frankly, I think it’s the way to go.

So get that buzz and word-of-mouth going now. Treat readers to the adventure of discovering how your story develops. They’ll also appreciate the “behind the scenes” look at how your novel is evolving as you write and make changes!

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge to help authors write and publish excellent books in just one year.

Want to write a novel people talk about? Focus on these 3 things

Learn more about TimWhether you already have several published books under your belt, or none at all, the novel you’re about to write is the most important.

You want it to make a big splash.

The best kind of book is one that readers can’t wait to tell their friends about. As in, “You need to check out this great book I just read!”

Word-of-mouth is the best advertising for your book, because you don’t have to do anything. Your readers are doing it for you.

But would people really talk about your book? Tell their friends it’s a must-read? And get excited to read the next novel you write?

Yes, yes, and yes!

This may sound like a fantasy, especially if you’re a newbie.

Turns out, it’s easier than you think. So this year, as you write and publish that novel you’ve been meaning to write, keep your focus on 3 main things:

1. Strong first chapter. Makes sense, right? It’s crucial that you grab readers’ attention from the very first sentence, because that makes them more likely to read the first paragraph. And when the first paragraph is strong, too, they’ll read the first page. Give them a few gripping pages up front, and they’ll plow on, not wanting to put the book down.

2. “Workshop” your chapters. When comedians write jokes, they try them out in front of an audience. If they get hearty laughs, they know the joke worked. But if not, they know they need to make a few changes. They’ll adjust the wording until their jokes have people rolling in the aisles.

It works much the same way with your chapters! It’s called “workshopping,” and that’s exactly what we do as a group in the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge: read each other’s chapters and talk about what works and what could be tweaked. As you fine tune your story, it gets better and better until it’s exactly what you want … and exactly what readers will want to tell their friends about.

3. Make sure it looks good. The actual book, that is, because when it comes to books, it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts. That means you’ll need a book cover that stops people in their tracks when they see it in the bookstore (or if they’re shopping online, a cover that makes them stop scrolling and check out your book)!

Here’s the thing. The only way someone will gab to their friends about your book is if they enjoyed it. And the only way someone is going to enjoy your book is if they’ve read it. And the only way someone is going to read your book is if they stopped to check it out in the first place.

So the cover is very important, and something I also work with you on during our year-long novel-writing challenge.

So now, it’s up to you.

Want to have a published novel on shelves by this time next year?

Starting March 1st, join us & let’s work together to focus on the most important things. And get people talking about your book!

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge to help authors write and publish excellent books in just one year.

Your debut novel can be a winner. Just don’t make this mistake …

Learn more about TimMake a splash with the very first novel you write!

by Timothy Pike

If you’re setting out to become a published author, you might have some concerns.

Are my writing skills good enough to write a whole novel? Will readers dig it? Where do I even start?

That’s why I believe in writing groups. These are groups of people, all with one common goal: to write and publish the best books they possibly can.

Most importantly, writing groups can put your (valid) concerns to rest.

When you get honest feedback on your writing from the group, two things happen. First, you realize that people do like what you write. And second, you know exactly what you can do to make it even better. It’s like seeing those worries evaporate before your eyes.

And it also makes getting started much easier, because hanging around people—even online—who are excited about their own stories is a great way to inspire your own ideas.

See what I mean? This what most aspiring novelists are missing.

But hey, it’s an easy mistake to make, because when most people think of writing a novel, they think of hiding out in their writing nooks, alone with their thoughts and a blank page, ready to create something great.

By the way, there’s nothing wrong with being alone when you’re actually writing. But outside of those hours, our writing group can bring many benefits to the table—and help you write a debut novel that’s gonna absolutely rock.

Want to join our writing group? We’re getting it together now.

In the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge, which starts March 1st, we’ll be getting into the nitty-gritty of novel writing as we polish our chapters and discuss our ideas. We’ll also be giving each other feedback on what we wrote.

Basically, it’s making sure our stories stand up to the test of “other people” reading them. That way, you’ll know you have a winner on your hands!

Sure beats going it alone.

And in one year’s time, when you find yourself listed on Amazon as the author of a book—or better yet, see a random stranger sitting there reading your book—that will be something to brag about …

… to your writing group, of course!

They’ll get it.

I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge to help authors write and publish excellent books in just one year.