A Simple Solution to Getting Your Writing Done

“Despite having never written fiction before, I’m working on a novel. Since I don’t know what I’m doing, I keep asking my friend Tim for a shortcut. He keeps telling me there isn’t one.

I’m pretty sure he’s lying.

A couple week ago, I started falling behind on my novel and began feeling sorry for myself. I beat myself up, blamed others, and watched a lot of Netflix (because procrastination is how I cope with stress1). Suffice it to say, my plan didn’t work. Not writing apparently results in nothing being written.

Who knew?

So, I reached out to a friend for help…

Seek wise counsel

I called up my friend Joe, a writer of fiction and all things creative. He’s also the founder of a wonderful writing blog called The Write Practice.

Joe and I started our blogs around the same time. I focused on nonfiction and publishing self-help books, and he focused on growing as a storyteller. In the end, I wonder if how Joe spent his time was the wiser path.

At any rate, Joe’s a smart guy and one to listen to when it comes to the craft of fiction. I asked him how to finish my novel on time in order to win NaNoWriMo. I was tired of the ‘there is no secret’ malarkey Tim was feeding me and hoping Joe would give me the inside scoop.

He did — but not in the way I expected.

Raise the stakes

‘How do I finish my novel on time?’ I asked. ‘Do I have to listen to a year’s worth of podcast episodes like Tim says? He’s lying about about that, isn’t he, Joe? About there being no secret… right?’

‘Well,’ he said, ‘I don’t know about that. But it’s possible for you to finish in a month.’

‘How?’ I asked.

‘Consequences,’ he said.

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