1. Your love of reading has convinced you the novel is the most entertaining, engrossing, and practical way to walk in someone else’s shoes.
2. You delight in words, which are your means of observing, reflecting, and processing everything around you.
3. You have tons of story ideas and you’re always pondering the what-ifs.
4. You are determined to learn the craft behind the mystique of fiction and are willing to eat and sleep as necessary.
5. You want to examine what you’ve learned so far about life.
6. You like getting to know characters to see if their beliefs ring true or not.
7. You have something to say.
8. You lose track of time when writing and revising, and see rejection as a springboard for rethinking, rewriting, and resubmitting.
9. Your creativity pleases God, the ultimate storyteller.
10. You want to surprise yourself.
Top Ten Flimsiest Reasons for Writing a Novel
1. You want to see your name in print.
While it is rewarding to be published, because that means an editor believes others will want to read your book, you already get to see your name in print on all sorts of things—business cards, name tags, programs, junk mail, grocery receipts.
2. You want to make a ton of money.
There are far easier ways to earn a living.
3. You want to be famous.
Celebrities who are easily recognized can’t go out in public without attracting attention, their weaknesses and misdeeds are publicized, and they risk drowning in a sea of cell phones and cameras.
4. You want to appear on Oprah.
It’s tough to be put on the spot in front of millions of viewers. If you’re like me, you’d probably stumble, if not over your feet, then with your tongue.
5. You want to join the ranks of great writers of the world.
Most of them pass on before anyone realizes how brilliant they were. Woody Allen put it best: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work… I want to achieve it through not dying.” Amen!
6. You want to win the Pulitzer Prize.
(See number five.)
7. You want to have a platform for speaking out on issues.
You can have that online without the agony of writing, revising, and marketing a novel.
8. You want to go on a book-signing tour.
If the opportunity ever comes and you’re like me, you’d be willing to go because you enjoy meeting new people, but fortunately, you don’t have to wait for a book tour because there are new people in your own town.
9. You want to rub shoulders with famous writers.
Writers who are not famous are just as interesting.
10. You want to see your works on bookstore shelves.
Okay, you’re right—this would be fun. But if you’re like me, you’d rather see a sign that says, “All Sold Out.”