If Your First Novel Does Not Work Out: Reasons Why It Is Not The End Of The World #Writers

You spend months working on your beloved first novel. On the day of launch you have visions of it storming up the Amazon charts and perhaps causing a stir on Facebook or Twitter. In your head you have already planned a series of book signing events and you can’t stop imagining how it is going to feel when you are hailed a ‘literary genius’ by several influential book bloggers.

Several weeks later and the only book sales you have are from your parents, who bought a copy each but haven’t got round to writing a review, your mother’s friendly neighbour who gave you a three star review for trying, a stranger who gave you two stars for a terrible book and an old work colleague who only gave you three stars because you still owe them a pint.

After several creative tantrums, a bucket load of tears and being told to pull yourself together by a loved one you come to the conclusion that just because you wrote a naff novel, the world is not going to end.

Here are the reasons why:

  1. You will be proud of myself for trying.
  2. You will still have a roof over your head.
  3. You will be able to say, “I wrote a novel”
  4. You will still have your family and friends.
  5. No one died as a result of you writing a novel.
  6. Everyone has to start somewhere.
  7. First novels rarely set the literary world on fire.
  8. You will be able to try again on the second novel.
  9. You will be able to say that you had a dream and instead of doing nothing about it you went for it.
  10. This could be a sign you might need different beta-readers. Perhaps using your mother as a beta reader was not the best way to improve your countless drafts.
  11. This is a sign you need to build up your author platform.
  12. It might not be the novel that’s unsuccessful, it could be the marketing plan.
  13. You needed to get that story out of your system as it was driving you insane.
  14. You enjoyed writing the story – isn’t that what matters?
  15. You plan to look at where you went wrong with this novel and use the learnings to help shape future books.
  16. You could still make changes to it.
  17. This is not the end but the beginning.
  18. Writing books for oneself is so underrated.

And the most important thing…..you still LOVE writing! This will never change!  

Have a great day!

 photo credit: PHOTO VANOVA <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/58801150@N08/23899571782″>KAROLINA</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;





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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

81 thoughts on “If Your First Novel Does Not Work Out: Reasons Why It Is Not The End Of The World #Writers

  1. I trashed my first book, or at least put it on a very looooong hiatus. The book I’m publishing next month is #2, but it will appear to be #1 for the rest of the world. And that’s fine with me, given the unfortunate caliber of the first section of the first book. Very amateurish and I can’t figure out how to rewrite it. Maybe after I’ve written a few more, I can go back to it, but frankly I don’t care. But you have one advantage over me. My parents are dead and can’t buy my book (duh!). But I have one guaranteed sale because a friend has been reading parts of it to her son (my target audience) and they plan to buy the book. Maybe I’ll even get some word-of-mouth!

    1. I think my second book will be better than my first. I know what it’s going to be about, the plot and the characters. I suppose the first novel is just getting over that ‘I did it’ hill

  2. Wait until you reach the stage where you have to make sure no one else has written anything even vaguely similar. I nearly had a stroke reading a book in an airport. I finally decided it wasn’t similar enough and it made me make drastic changes during a re-write, this improving upon yet another draft.

  3. Very encouraging post, BFF. I laughed, I hummed in heartfelt agreement. I stand a little taller having been reminded to put this creative journey into proper perspective. Great collection of words and great post.

  4. I love this but I must say that the cat and cheese reasons are fantastic. Also, “I will have released the characters trapped in my head.” Yes. So much this.

    And we must never forget this: Writing for oneself is so underrated

    1. Thx Sarah Brentyn! You have made me smile. Thx for the tweet too! Do you know what – I am going to make a successful career out of writing my own stories – sigh! Happy Sunday

  5. What a great positive post! Love it. And this is exactly the attitude that writers need to cultivate. This is a tough business, and if we are fine with the outcome whatever it is, then all we have left to deal with is the joy of writing. 😀

  6. I wish you the best of success for your first book! Do tell when is the published date cause I can’t wait to get my hands on it! 🙂

  7. A lot of writers first books never see the light of day. Many writers call their first book/s practice books. You’ve just got to keep writing, especially when you are querying. It might not happen on the first book, or it might. Just don’t give up, just like you said.

  8. Reblogged this on Suzie Speaks and commented:
    Meet Lucy! I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Bloggers Bash at the beginning of August and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading her blog ever since!

    Lucy is in the process of writing a novel, and for those of you in a similar situation you may be able to relate to this funny post… Follow, reblog, enjoy!

  9. Ditto to all the above… But less of the ‘IF I finish my first novel’… Too many people (self included) already want to read it. It has to be ‘WHEN’… Now – on with that second draft, no slacking!

      1. Keep going… keep going. The end (or is it the beginning of the end)… (or perhaps just the end of the beginning…) is in sight! 😉

  10. If you love writing then keep going. Start the next book while editing the first. That’s what I did, I didn’t make any sales on my first but it was a trilogy and I kept going and putting books up on Amazon. Had a few hundred downloads during a three day free offer but it wasn’t till my third book (a completely different genre) went up that I found my readers – or they found me. Now that I’m well into my series with that genre I’m making a decent living from it and the first books are selling every day too, though not nearly as many. So, keep doing what your doing and the more books you have out there, the nearer you’ll come to earning a steady income from them. Even if you don’t, if you love writing then you’ve been successful already in what you’ve done. You have the right attitude, wishing you all the very best with your books.

  11. Totally agree with all of the above. I wrote my first book – which no one really ever believed me when I said I was going to write a book. But I did. I am now on my second book. I too have character over-crowding in my brain, it’s nice to know others suffer from the same malady. I will buy your book – and must now follow you to make sure I know when it comes out.

  12. Thanks for the post! I have been thinking of “coming out” with my writing as well. I wrote a short novel that I finally published last year on Amazon’s CreateSpace. It’s scary thinking of the consequences of our writing. Anyways, it’s called Creation by Kristin Senna (my alias) and I have no idea if it’s good or bad because I wrote it! Good luck on your endeavor!!!

    1. I love the phrase ‘coming out’ with your writing – I may turn that into a blog post and acknowledge you 🙂

      Will look it up. Good on you for getting out there though. Happy Thursday 🙂

      1. Yes! Thx for the acknowlegement 🙂 I’ll def check yours out too when it comes out. Let us know how your progress goes!

  13. Congrats! Even if only your parents buy it, lol. I feel proud, I graduated from parents to other relatives with my NaNoWriMo book (self-pubbed of course).
    I had no idea what a process it would be to get my current projects ready for release. ugh. Good luck!

  14. Great post and you make excellent points. It’s true; it’s not the end of the world and if you don’t succeed at first, there is always a following number. I’m at the very beginning in the process of writing my first novel (it still sounds scary writing/saying it) so I’m learning as I go.

  15. My fist book is in manuscript form and is holding the laundry room door open. I like your attitude and you are right not to ever think of stopping writing. Another point to consider is at least no one died in the making of the book.

  16. Reblogged this on graemecummingdotnet and commented:
    It’s always reassuring to know that it’s not just you. A great post here from Lucy – who I clearly didn’t spend any time with at the Bloggers Bash (there were a couple I missed). More importantly, I clearly need to put that right at the next one.

  17. Did you write this with me in mind Lucy? I’m on holiday and
    I woke up at 6.30 am (typical) so I might as well have a chat.
    Just been having these thoughts myself! You’re absolutely right, one fan is all you need, no scratch that two fans including yourself, your biggest most enthusiastic fan, only kidding, I’m sure you’ll get oodles more than that, exciting times ahead. I reckon some of us blogging bash newbie writers will publish in the forthcoming years….. and even better we can support each other to reach the giddy heights of those elusive fans who are in hiding. Wishing you much luck and success.

      1. Absolutely, and I tend to be a bit psychic (this doesn’t work with mundane things like catching trains but works with the more important things in life so you can trust me!) you’ve got it on good authority!


  18. Reblogged this on The WRITE Place and commented:
    Here’s a great post from ‘Blondewritemore’ about writing her first novel.
    We all hear that nagging voice of doubt when we prepare to show our work to the world. It’s a scary process but she makes some excellent points on why you should do it anyway.

    I hope you enjoy it,

    Happy writing 😀

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