How do you feel about taking long to finish your novel?

Posted April 10, 2017 by Pamela Nicole in Discussions, Writing / 4 Comments


In normal circumstances, I’d say it sucks. And it does, but it’s more complex than that.

I used to be really anxious over this, but my concerns boiled down to this:

I keep getting older

Yeah, it’s kind of silly, but it’s true. Since I started writing, I’ve set deadlines for myself. I used to say, I need to have published this by the time I’m 18 (HAHA), I need to be successful by 20… and so on, and so on, putting some sort of expiration date on it.

And it was eating me alive. Because I got disappointed, and began thinking that I wasn’t good enough to be a writer. Since I’d already figured out what worked for me in terms of planning and coming up with ideas, all that was left to do was write.

And then I began to understand something, and it wasn’t until a few days that I saw a tweet and I finally realized what I’d begun to accept.


Those years that I thought were wasted? They are precious.

Because even I have to admit that my writing is very different from what it was when I was 13. And it should be, because it’s been almost eight years now. And I’ve learned so much. I’ve gone through four different novels, one finished but that was a disaster because it was the first one, one in progress, another that I love but I’m not sure if I should continue, and the current one, which I adore with the force of a thousand suns.

Those years were mistakes I learned from, books I read on the craft, YA books from which I learned too, and just lots and lots of practice.

I’ve come to appreciate those years.

And maybe it’s an excuse to make myself feel better, but that doesn’t make it less true. And if it does make me feel better, then why shouldn’t I use it?


What do you think about it?

Hi, I’m Pamela, your curly-haired bookdragon friend, here to talk about books, writing, introversion, and everything creativity! I also teach creative writing through workshops and online courses to spanish-speaking writers.

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4 responses to “How do you feel about taking long to finish your novel?

  1. Oh I thoroughly relate to this!! I always had in the back of my mind, that in order to be “successful” I had to be published as a teen…HAR HAR HAR, NO. I obviously pasted that like 3 years ago and omg it was really devastating at first. But now I just think about how much BETTER a writer I am now?? and honestly maybe even if I don’t get published for 10 more years, I’m just going to keep getting better and better with all the practise. So it’s not just like a fake thing to comfort ourselves with!! It’s actually a logical and helpful way to think. 😀